Book Review

Book Review: Every Last Breath (The Dark Elements #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA/NA Urban Fantasy Romance
Length: 400 pages
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: March 26th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Some loves will last ’til your dying breath

Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.

Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction.

Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell…

ROTH FOREVER.

I’m glad this book redeemed the series after that doozy of a second. I liked this conclusion and felt like it wrapped up everything it needed to for this story. The wrap up was really quick, buuut at least it all worked out.

I get the book boyfriend hype for Roth. I adored him myself. He’s the best part of this series. I love the dark, brooding type who is passionate about the one thing he truly loves (aka Layla). There were many great moments between them and I was smitten up and down the block.

The middle of the book is wrapped up in the romance. Which is fine. I just wish more of the plot was intertwined. Like I mentioned earlier, the Lilin/Lilith plot line is pushed to the last hundred pages and left me wishing it played a bigger role.

A good backlist series to read if you’re up for an urban fantasy romance adventure. This book had a lot of great elements and I loved the audio books!

Overall audience notes:

  • YA/NA Urban Fantasy Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: multiple brief open door
  • Violence: murder, attempted murder, physical and magical altercations; blood depiction

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Book Review

Book Review: Gild (The Plated Prisoner #1) by Raven Kennedy

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 375 pages
Author: Raven Kennedy
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: October 16th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The fae abandoned this world to us. And the ones with power rule.

Gold.

Gold floors, gold walls, gold furniture, gold clothes. In Highbell, in the castle built into the frozen mountains, everything is made of gold.

Even me.

King Midas rescued me. Dug me out of the slums and placed me on a pedestal. I’m called his precious. His favored. I’m the woman he Gold-Touched to show everyone that I belong to him. To show how powerful he is. He gave me protection, and I gave him my heart. And even though I don’t leave the confines of the palace, I’m safe.

Until war comes to the kingdom and a deal is struck.

Suddenly, my trust is broken. My love is challenged. And I realize that everything I thought I knew about Midas might be wrong.

Because these bars I’m kept in, no matter how gilded, are still just a cage. But the monsters on the other side might make me wish I’d never left.

The myth of King Midas reimagined. This compelling adult fantasy series is as addictive as it is unexpected. With romance, intrigue, and danger, the gilded world of Orea will grip you from the very first page.

Please Note: This book contains explicit content and darker elements, including mature language, violence, and rape. It is not intended for anyone under 18 years of age. This is book one in a series.

I READ IT.

I feel that’s a pretty good accomplishment after it took me three tries to get here.

First and foremost: skip the first chapter. It’s not of use to the story and really turned me off. So much so it took a few friends to say consider giving it one more try. I can say I’m not upset I read it and truly do want to read book two, so that’s saying something!

I liked Auren. Not the strongest main character but there’s a lot of potential there. As the book progressed you could really see her slowly move towards independent thought and unravelling her old notions. I think Auren will only grow from here.

There is absolutely zero world building until about 80%. That’s when I FINALLY got a small glimpse of the world at large. Does it really explain the magic system? Nope. Still not sure about that one. At least the world is a touch clearer. I liked defined ideas and space in fantasies and that was missing here.

Not really any romance in this book. It’s a lot more like Stockholm syndrome. I think that’s played a big part into Auren’s character and the dynamic between her and King Midas. I like that I see potential. The ending added enough oopmh that I’m excited to see what book two holds.

Overall audience notes:

  • Adult fantasy romance
  • Language: strong and derogatory (a lot of the use of the word c**t)
  • Romance: open door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: on page violent rape (occurs to side character), sexual assault, murder, blood depiction

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Book Review

Book Review: Cast in Firelight (Wickery #1) by Dana Swift

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy Romance
Length: 448 pages
Author: Dana Swift
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: January 19th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Adraa is the royal heir of Belwar, a talented witch on the cusp of taking her royal ceremony test, and a girl who just wants to prove her worth to her people.

Jatin is the royal heir to Naupure, a competitive wizard who’s mastered all nine colors of magic, and a boy anxious to return home for the first time since he was a child.

Together, their arranged marriage will unite two of Wickery’s most powerful kingdoms. But after years of rivalry from afar, Adraa and Jatin only agree on one thing: their reunion will be anything but sweet.

Only, destiny has other plans and with the criminal underbelly of Belwar suddenly making a move for control, their paths cross…and neither realizes who the other is, adopting separate secret identities instead.

Between dodging deathly spells and keeping their true selves hidden, the pair must learn to put their trust in the other if either is to uncover the real threat. Now Wickery’s fate is in the hands of rivals..? Fiancées..? Partners..? Whatever they are, it’s complicated and bound for greatness or destruction.

UNDER THE RADAR FAVORITE.

I’m not surprised I loved this when I realized how many of my favorite tropes were flying about: enemies to lovers, arranged marriage, hidden identities, etc. YUP. It’s a gem from the get go.

I LOVE Adraa and Jatin! Adraa is such a kicka character. She’s strong and intelligent. I love how she worked toward her goals, but also accepted help. She wasn’t blind to needing others, but also could completely hold her own and her take downs were magnicient. Jatin was the best type of side-kick. Jumping into the fray, falling in love and making me absolutely SMITTEN with his care for Adraa. I love the way these two just clicked.

And when things were clearly reaching their conflict between the main characters, unnecessary drama wasn’t added!!!! I love how it was approached and that Adraa and Jatin actually had a conversation with each other without assuming the other’s thoughts. Put a perfect kissing scene on top and it really sealed the deal for how much I adored this read.

The plot isn’t widly intricate. I was interested and thought the end left enough to explore in a second book. I did really like the magic system. It was a unique play on a rainbow of magic and it was fascinating how it worked with the world building. A really great read that I definitely recommend.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: physical altercations, magical weaponry, natural disasters

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Echoes and Empires (Echoes and Empires #1) by Morgan Rhodes

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy Romance
Length: 400 pages
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: January 4th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A snarky seventeen-year-old must team up with an enigmatic criminal to cure herself of dangerous forbidden magic in the first book of a new fantasy duology from Morgan Rhodes, the New York Times bestselling author of the Falling Kingdoms series.

Josslyn Drake knows only three things about magic: it’s rare, illegal, and always deadly. So when she’s caught up in a robbery gone wrong at the Queen’s Gala and infected by a dangerous piece of magic—one that allows her to step into the memories of an infamously evil warlock—she finds herself living her worst nightmare. Joss needs the magic removed before it corrupts her soul and kills her. But in Ironport, the cost of doing magic is death, and seeking help might mean scheduling her own execution. There’s nobody she can trust.

Nobody, that is, except wanted criminal Jericho Nox, who offers her a deal: his help extracting the magic in exchange for the magic itself. And though she’s not thrilled to be working with a thief, especially one as infuriating (and infuriatingly handsome) as Jericho, Joss is desperate enough to accept.

But Jericho is nothing like Joss expects. The closer she grows with Jericho and the more she sees of the world outside her pampered life in the city, the more Joss begins to question the beliefs she’s always taken for granted—beliefs about right and wrong, about power and magic, and even about herself.

In an empire built on lies, the truth may be her greatest weapon.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC.

ENCHANTED.

This didn’t have the best start for me. I wasn’t vibing with the main character at all. But I also could recognize the option for some major growth and gave Josslyn the benefit of the doubt. It paid off!

Josslyn really grew on me. From high and mighty, stuck in her opinions and way to learning to listen and absorb new information to fit into a better narrative of the world around her. I liked how she found strength and called Jericho out when he needed it. Joss had so much thrown at her and many reveals that she handled well and now she’s a main character I can get behind.

I adored the beginnings of some enemies to lovers romance. The banter is top notch and I found myself smirking right alongside Jericho. The teamwork and a few quiet scenes. Yesss. The only thing missing were a few more kissing scenes. Though I imagine book two is going to bring the heat.

The plot gets kind of wild and even when I saw the reveals coming I still appreciated the set up and ingenuity. The world building is interesting and took me a minute to grasp. It’s a mix of urban fantasy + technologically advanced society + elemental magic I want more info on. A unique combination that I look forward to further exploration in the second book.

Lots of good stuff here. I just couldn’t put it down. I loved Rhodes Falling Kingdoms series and have been anxiously awaiting getting a chance to read this. Not one to miss!

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy Romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: physical, gun violence, magical altercations, blood depiction, torture, loss of loved ones

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