Book Review

ARC Book Review: Married by Treachery (Arranged Marriages of the Fae #5) by Barbara Kloss

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Fantasy Romance Novella
Length: 250 pages
Author: Barbara Kloss
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: October 7th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Married by Treachery is book 5 in the Arranged Marriages of the Fae series.

Raquel never expected to marry a bear. To be fair, Prince Edom wasn’t actually a bear, but it was impossible to see his face through his mess of wild hair. Not that she needed to see his face. In fact, it was probably better that she didn’t.

Because she was going to kill him.

It had been seven years since Prince Edom had galloped off with her best friend through the magicked veil, and taken her into his magicked kingdom. Seven long years of resolve, of hard work and training, so that Raquel would be ready for this day: the day she would exact vengeance upon Prince Edom, for all the brides he’d stolen.

For all the brides he’d murdered.

Raquel vowed she would be the last, but she wasn’t prepared for what lay on the veil’s other side. It was not the lush and magnificent kingdom from the stories of her youth, and, as it turned out, its prince was not what she’d expected either.

No, Prince Edom was not what she’d expected at all.

Thank you to Barbara Kloss for an eARC!

A GOOD TIME.

I really enjoyed this!! I thought it was a fun idea to see a bunch of fantasy romance authors get together for a mash-up of loved tropes and romantic novellas.

There was some great banter here and I loved the initial reactions between Raquel and Jake. Their natures really bounced off of one another until the undeniable magnetism took hold. I thought the dreams were a unique sequence to kind of further the romantic plot and help change the characters mind about how they were responding to each other.

I do think being a touch longer would have helped. I was a little confused by some magic system and plot aspects which I know can be hard to wrap all up into a novella. This as a full length series?? YES. Maybe that’s in the works and this is a starting point?! No idea, but one can hope!

The pacing made for a quick, finish in a day read and it hit well. I liked the movement and how things all wrapped up in the end. I love Kloss’s writing style and look forward to her next book(s)!

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy Romance Novella
  • Language: some
  • Romance: very brief fade to black
  • Violence: medium
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: kidnapping, loss of loved ones, battle scenes, grave wounds

Instagram || Goodreads || The StoryGraph

Book Review

ARC Book Review: A Symphony of Stars (The Gods of Men #3) by Barbara Kloss

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: NA Fantasy Romance
Length: 576 pages
Author: Barbara Kloss
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: March 29th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Will Imari fall like every sulaziér before her?

In a desperate attempt to save King Jeric’s life, Imari drew upon the power from the Tree of Wisdom, hidden deep within the forsaken lands of Sol Velor. But Imari could not have known that by doing so, she would also free Zussa—the Great Deceiver—who had been bound between worlds since the beginning of time.

Thus freed, and now using Azir Mubarék as a vessel, Zussa will stop at nothing to exact her final revenge: to unravel the world as it is written.

With Trier destroyed and so many Sol Velorians and Liagé now under Zussa’s employ, it seems the Five Provinces are doomed to Zussa’s insatiable wrath. Jeric and Imari’s only hope is to return to Corinth, to gather whatever fighting men will help, but Jeric hasn’t been home in over two months. He can’t possibly know what awaits him there, or if he still has a throne.

Regardless of what they find, Imari soon comes to realize that her particular gifting as a sulaziér is crucial in their inevitable fight against Zussa. The only problem is that her flute—her talla—is broken, and she can’t channel Shah power properly without it. Jeric has miraculously discovered a new talla, but using it might come with a price that Imari is not willing to pay.

Thank you to the author for sending me a copy of the book!

GREAT CONCLUSION.

There is something so satisfying about finishing a series. Especially when the last book concludes the things you need to close the book and appreciate all the words you’ve read.

I am just smitten with this romance. I adore Jeric and Imari. I would have loved even MORE of them because every time they graced the pages I would swoon. I loved all of the quiet moments and a lot of those ending scenes where they both fought for the love between them. Jeric never game up on Imari and I AM HERE FOR IT.

There were many points of view (I think even more than book two?) and it was nice getting different angles of the impending final battle. Seeing characters make turn arounds, finding new love, and coping with big changes. I have enjoyed this entire cast. The protagonists and antagonists. Both played their roles well which gave to an intense finale.

The first half was a bit slow for me as most of it was travel based (which is never a strong trope for me). By about halfway things definitely started picking up as kingdoms unraveled and the great deceiver maxed out the dial on their plans.

This series has been stunning all around and I am so happy to have found it! Available on KU and a great read for new adult fantasy lovers!

Overall audience notes:

  • New adult fantasy romance
  • Language: light
  • Romance: closed door
  • Violence: mild blood/gore
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: torture, physical and magical altercations, weapons violence, possession, near death experiences

Instagram || Goodreads || The StoryGraph

Book Review

Book Review: Temple of Sand (The Gods of Men #2) by Barbara Kloss

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: NA Fantasy + Romance
Length: 523 pages
Author: Barbara Kloss
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: December 7th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Sable has been exposed for who she is: Imari, the illegitimate daughter of Istraa’s king, and a Liagé—someone born with forbidden Shah power. After ten years of hiding and surviving in the bitter cold Wilds, she is finally returning home.

But it’s not the homecoming Imari envisioned. After all, her father proclaimed her dead ten years ago, and with an anonymous Liagé leader operating in Istraa’s shadows, attacking villages and burning down temples, her father fears the people will blame Imari.

It could mean his throne, and her life.

Worse yet, the night Imari played her flute in Skyhold’s court, something unlocked inside of her, and now her power will not quiet. Neither will the growing fury she feels on behalf of Istraa’s Sol Velorian labor— people who share her blood.

As that fury becomes too loud to ignore, Imari chooses to use her position to liberate the Sol Velor. But can she free them without angering enemies hungry for the power she wields—a power that could rip the Five Provinces apart?

INTO THIS.

Oh how I’m loving all of these Kindle Unlimited finds. This is another great fantasy (with a large romance plot) series that I am without a doubt enjoying.

I love the way that religion was used in this story. The details were woven into the characters lives and it played a large part in decisions and actions. Combining the religious aspects with music was another great style choice. It was enchanting reading the way the musical tones were being conveyed. I like to think music can be soothing to us all (whatever genre/style we prefer!) and thought this was a great addition to the overall plot and story.

Ohhh how I wish Jeric and Imari found each other again sooner! I hate waiting until half the book is over for my love interests to be back on the same page. Once together, sparks started flying all over again. I LOVE these two. They have banter, and beautifully touching sentiments. Some heated moments (with a little steam) and I want them to end up together. Better get my happy ending in the next book!!

This story is very interesting and the plot feels like it’s always thickening. The villains are flat-out vile and appreciatively not one-dimensional. Temple of Sand combines dark aspects with hope and light to achieve a gorgeous book. I can’t wait to read the next one and definitely think you should take a chance on this!

Overall audience notes:

  • New adult fantasy + romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: heated make-outs; one mild open door scene
  • Violence: gory/bloody; murder, demon possession, physical, creature attacks, magical attacks
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of loved ones, hints at past sexual assault

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

Book Review: The Gods of Men (The Gods of Men #1) by Barbara Kloss

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: New Adult Fantasy Romance
Length: 452 pages
Author: Barbara Kloss
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: June 26th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Sable hated the gods. She hated what men did in their name.

Magic is forbidden throughout the Five Provinces; those born with it are hunted and killed. Sable doesn’t know her music holds power over souls—not until, at age nine, she plays her flute before the desert court and accidentally stops her baby sister’s heart, killing her. Horrified by what she’s done and fearing for her life, she flees north, out of Provincial jurisdiction and into the frigid land of exiles and thieves, known as The Wilds. There, Sable lives in hiding, burdened by guilt, and survives as a healer. But now, ten years later, someone—or something—is hunting her.

On the run again, Sable’s best chance for survival is Jos, a lethal man from the Five Provinces, who claims to need her skills as a healer to save his dying father, and she needs the large sum of money he’s offered. There’s something about him Sable doesn’t trust, but she doesn’t have many options. A spirit of the dead is hunting her, summoned by a mysterious necromancer, and it’s getting closer.

Sable soon discovers she’s just the start of the necromancer’s plan to take over the Five Provinces, and she’s the only one with the power to stop it. But harnessing her forbidden power means revealing it to the world, and the dangerous Provincial, Jos, she’s beginning to fall for.

BETTER AND BETTER.

Off to a slow and confusing start, I wasn’t sure where the hype from my friends had come. If felt dropped into a story without a basis for the location, world or magic system which left me really lost for awhile. Once I started to figure things out, we were good to go!

The romance brought on the heat (in a low steam way) as things progressed. I love the spicy kissing scenes and the clear pull between Sable and Jeric. Oh my goodness did I adore Jeric. He’s that dark and brooding type with a heart that gets softened by Sable and I AM HERE FOR IT. All of their interactions and banter made me love this book all the more.

The magic here is wild and I’m still a little confused by it. There doesn’t seem to be a full explanation for it so far, but I did at least establish how it works [mostly]. The world is also a touch confusing too. Yet again though, it did get better over time.

I like that this had a villain I didn’t see coming. My initial choices were there own brand of awfulness. I like the unreliableness of those kind of characters. It also doesn’t leave you on a major cliffhanger. The Gods of Men reads like a full story, there’s enough strings untied though where I’m saying I MUST HAVE BOOK TWO.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult/New adult fantasy romance
  • Language: a little throughout
  • Romance: kisses, heated make-outs (with clothing removed)
  • Violence: physical, magical, murder, creature attacks
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of loved one(s), multiple instances of implied sexual assault/rape, sexual assault, attempted rape

Instagram || Goodreads