Book Review

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: October 2022

Happy Halloween! Hope y’all have had an enjoyable reading month. I got to 42 books and some new favorites.

– A Game of Hearts
– Foul Lady Fortune
– Nightwing
– Thank You for Listening
– Yours Truly
– It Starts With Us
– Faking Christmas
– How to Kiss Your Grumpy Boss

Least Favorites
– Dark Night Golden Dawn
– Kingdom of the Feared
– Wishtress
– So This is Christmas

  • [ARC] The Poison Season by Mara Rutherford
  • [Novella] Second Chance for Christmas by Anne Kemp
  • The Kiss Curse (Ex Hex #2) by Erin Sterling
  • A Crime of Passion Fruit (A Bakeshop Mystery #6) by Ellie Alexander
  • [ARC] Five Survive by Holly Jackson
  • From the Fields of Porthlenn (Cornish Romance #5) by Deborah M. Hathaway
  • Dark Night Golden Dawn (The Immortal Orders #1) by Allison Carr Waechter
  • Lux (Texas Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson and Steven Michael Bohls
  • [ARC] A Game of Hearts by Joanna Barker
  • [ARC] The Empress of Time (The Keeper of the Night #2) by Kylie Lee Baker
  • House of Beating Wings (The Kingdom of Crows #1) by Olivia Wildenstein
  • Foul Lady Fortune (Foul Lady Fortune #1) by Chloe Gong
  • Smoke Show (Deadlights Cove #1) by B. Perkins and Aimee Vance
  • Kingdom of the Feared (Kingdom of the Wicked #3) by Kerri Maniscalco
  • Nightwing (The Starchaser Saga #3) by Renee Dugan
  • Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young
  • Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan
  • [Novella] Mr. October by Bethany Weaver
  • Where Oceans Burn (Where Oceans Burn #1) by Casey L. Bond
  • Sky Without Stars (System Divine #1) by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell
  • [ARC] Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez
  • Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle
  • Shattered Sea (Tattered & Torn #4) by Catherine Cowles
  • Wild About Denali (Wild About Alaska #1) by Sara Blackard
  • It Starts With Us (It Ends With Us #2) by Colleen Hoover
  • An Heir Comes to Rise (An Heir Comes to Rise #1) by C.C. Penaranda
  • The Lost Letter by Mimi Matthews
  • Court of Blood and Bindings (Fae Isles #1) by Lisette Marshall
  • [ARC] Merry Ex-Mas by Courtney Walsh
  • Christmas Baggage (Christmas Escapes #1) by Deborah M. Hathaway
  • Wishtress by Nadine Brandes
  • The Make-Up (Falling for Franklin #2) by Hailey Gardiner
  • [ARC] The Call of the Sea by Sian Bessey
  • So This is Christmas (A Princess for Christmas #3) by Jenny Holiday
  • Legacy (Keeper of the Lost Cities #8) by Shannon Messenger
  • Host for the Holidays (Christmas Escapes #2) by Martha Keyes
  • [ARC] A Very Merry Bromance (Bromance Book Club #5) by Lyssa Kay Adams
  • Deja Brew (Deadlights Cove #2) by Aimee Vance and B. Perkins
  • A Queen Comes to Power (An Heir Comes to Rise #2) by C.C. Penaranda
  • [ARC] Faking Christmas (Christmas Escape #3) by Cindy Steel
  • [ARC] How to Kiss Your Grumpy Boss by Jenny Proctor
  • One Dark Window (The Shepherd King #1) by Rachel Gillig

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Book Review

Book Review: The Phoenix Priest (The Blood and Water Saga #2) by Cassidy Clarke

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 780 pages
Author: Cassidy Clarke
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: April 22nd, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Elias Loch has nothing left to believe in.

After the loss of his battlemate, all he wants is to go home to Nyx and lose himself to grief. But when the Goddess of Death summons him to Artem, a kingdom of fire and steel, he finds himself plunged into a series of trials to earn him and his princely companion an audience with Artem’s Empress—trials that will force him to confront what it truly means to have faith in his goddess…and himself.

Finnick Atlas is playing a game against the gods, and he’s used up all his cheats.

Burdened by his new title and the two gods walking his halls, he needs to be at the top of his game to keep control over his kingdom. But with a maddening magic threatening to steal what’s left of his sanity, a goddess puppeting his little sister’s body for nefarious ends, and an arranged marriage with the Queen of Lapis looming on the horizon, he’s running out of sleeves to slip aces into. Luckily, a new friend from the Lapisian delegation may just be the key to winning all his games…if he can trick a worshipper of the Trickster Goddess.

Soren Nyx can’t seem to die.

Trapped inside her own body, she has only one goal left: to keep Anima, Goddess of Life, from seeing into her memories and finding her family’s weaknesses. But retreating into the depths of her own mind has unintended consequences, and with the help of an old friend, Soren must navigate the lost memories of her childhood as Soleil, all with one question in mind: will she finally give in to the death that’s been chasing her since girlhood, or will she rise again as someone new?


I am so impressed by this series. 800 pages and I hardly notice. I love the writing. It’s captivating and keeps the pace moving. The characters are extremely easy to get attached to and I can’t believe some of the things that happened this round?! NOT OKAY.

I love how much depth we got from many characters. Specifically this time, Elias. He went through the ringer (and fire, literal fire) and now I can see just how strong of a character role he’s going to continue to play. And his bromance with Kallias? ADORE!!!!! We stan strong friendships. Moving towards Kallias, do I spy a romance? The slow burn is torturous, but oh so good.

MY SWEET BABY FINN. Easily my favorite character for this book. Wow his story took so many turns. I loved it. I love his morally gray, but fiercely protective self. My heart hurts for where his arc may lead. I need him comforted ASAP.

The plot moved beautifully. A mix of action and politicking. Sneaking out at night and creatures coming out of the woodwork. I loved the changes in scenery and all of the new characters that I got to meet. Everyone felt pertinent to the story and only added to how much I love reading these books.


Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Language: little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: med/high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: kidnapping, torture, physical altercations, creature attacks, near death experiences, poison, grief depiction

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Book Review

Book Review: This Woven Kingdom (This Woven Kingdom #1) by Tahereh Mafi

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: YA Fantasy + Romance
Length: 512 pages
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: February 1st, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


To all the world, Alizeh is a disposable servant, not the long-lost heir to an ancient Jinn kingdom forced to hide in plain sight.

The crown prince, Kamran, has heard the prophecies foretelling the death of his king. But he could never have imagined that the servant girl with the strange eyes, the girl he can’t put out of his mind, would one day soon uproot his kingdom—and the world.

Clashing empires, forbidden romance, and a long-forgotten queen destined to save her people—bestselling author Tahereh Mafi’s first in an epic, romantic trilogy inspired by Persian mythology.


Ah, this book felt like a YA fantasy hug. All of the tropes and themes I love. The enjoyable predictable nature of it all. This was a great opening to a new series and I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the books.

I listened to the audio and loved it if you’re looking for a new book to read!

Back to the story here, I adored Alizeh and Kamran. Alizeh is just trying to survive and keep hidden in the shadows not telling anyone where she comes from. Enter Kamran, a bold prince who is captivated by Alizeh. I did think the pacing for this romance was a bit quick for me, so we’ll see how the other books shake out (especially after that ending!!).

The writing was wonderful as always. Engaging and kept a steady pace. I don’t remember any major lulls or dull moments. Consistent development and world-building were another great feature and something I love in my fantasy reads. The mythology was interesting and I loved all of those editions as too.

I always love a lost queen, a duty-bound prince and a forbidden romance.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: make-outs
  • Violence: physical and magical altercations
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: abuse, injury, death of a parent, light blood/gore

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Book Review

Book Review: The Bone Charmer (The Bone Charmer #1) by Breeana Shields

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 400 pages
Author: Breeana Shields
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Release Date: May 21st, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


In Saskia’s world, bones are the source of all power. They tell the future, reveal the past, and expose secrets in the present. Each village has a designated seer who performs readings for the townsfolk, and in Midwood, the Bone Charmer is Saskia’s mother.

On the day of her kenning—a special bone reading that determines the apprenticeships of all seventeen-year-olds—Saskia’s worst fears come true. She receives an assignment to train as a Bone Charmer, like her mother, and even worse, a match-making reading that pairs her with Bram—a boy who has suspicious tattoos that hint of violence.

Saskia knows her mother saw multiple paths for her, yet chose one she knew Saskia wouldn’t want. Their argument leads to a fracture in one of the bones. Broken bones are always bad luck, but this particular set of bones have been infused with extra magic, and so the break has devastating consequences—Saskia’s future has split as well. Now she will live her two potential paths simultaneously. Only one future can survive. And Saskia’s life is in danger in both.


Oh wow. I read this from a friend’s recommendation and Y’ALL. TBR STAT.

I found this to be such an easy read. I loved the magic system. Things made sense and was unique. It was twisted and set-up in a way that I was worried it would be confusing, but turns out…it worked out perfectly.

It’s told from two divergent timelines. One if Saskia made one choice, and one if she went on a different path. I loved how this played out! Even while reading the chapters it was straight forward as to which voice was narrating. And the way they combined hit everything right. I haven’t read a timeline like this that worked out so beautifully.

There’s a soft and slow romance throughout that was tender and sweet. Bram stole my heart (and Saskia’s) and someone needs to tell me they get a happy ending.

The book has a lot of dark tones and ambiance. The villain was an absolute type who took a bit to see coming. I liked that they fit into the story well and their corrupt nature kept me on my toes. I really can’t wait to read book two and see how everything ends!

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: death, intense murder scenes; generally a bit morbid

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