Book Review

ARC Book Review: Beauty Reborn by Elizabeth Lowham

Rating: ★★
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 208 pages
Author: Elizabeth Lowham
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Release Date: May 9th, 2023
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Fantasy and reality collide in this retelling of Beauty and the Beast about a young woman’s heroic quest to save herself.

Yes, I went to the woods to save my father. But I also went hoping I would be eaten by the Beast. Because I didn’t think anything else could save me.

Beauty’s life is the stuff of fairy tales. The youngest in her family, Beauty isn’t trying to catch Stephan’s eye. He is the lord baron’s heir, well above her family’s modest station, but when he kisses her hand at a party, Beauty is swept away by his charm, his wit, and his passionate declarations of love.

Hearts can be untamable creatures, especially when touched by the fires of first love, and Beauty doesn’t see the truth of Stephan’s intentions until it is too late. Until he stops asking for Beauty’s love—and simply takes it from her one night despite her refusal.

Beauty locks away the secret of what happened to her, and when her father emerges from the enchanted forest with a stolen rose in his hand and the tale of a vicious beast on his breath, Beauty seizes the chance to run as far from Stephan as possible.

She has some experience with beasts, after all. Certainly the one in the forest couldn’t be any worse than the one she’s already encountered.

Breaking the Beast’s curse might be the key to discovering her own path to healing—and finding the courage to allow herself to feel reborn.

Thank you to Shadow Mountain for an ARC.


I want to be able to come here and tell y’all I enjoyed this, but I just flat out did not.

This wasn’t a retelling so much as a direct copycat of the original movie. I don’t feel like I got anything new out of this story and instead wished I was just watching the movie.

At barely 200 pages there isn’t enough context or story to get the full sense of Beauty, her family, or her relationship with Beast. Beauty and Beast play make believe games while in the castle and hardly talk to one another for most of the book.

There’s some small good moments about finding light in the dark and such. That’s about all I can pull out that I liked.

No world building (once again I feel like it was leaning on the hope that I had seen the movie), random flashbacks to two different time points that didn’t flow, and multiple other things.

I unfortunately cannot recommend this one.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy Retelling
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: mentions of sexual assault and potential rape (on page, but extremely vague)

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Book Review

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: April 2023

Another great month of reading! A small slow down from last month but that is completely okay. I loved how many rereads I got to and found some absolute new favorites.

Favorite Books:

  • To Poison a King
  • A Girl Called Samson
  • The Ashes and the Star-Cursed King
  • In This Moment
  • The Assassin’s Blade
  • Before the Fortress Fals
  • Echoes of You
  • Desire or Defense
  • Throne of Glass
  • Fourth Wing
  • Finding Gene Kelly
  • Practice Makes Perfect
  • The Weight of Air

Least Favorites:

  • Two Wars and a Wedding
  • A Shadow Crown
  • The Path of Daggers
  • The Heart’s Choice
  • Georgie, All Along by Kate Clayborn
  • Objection to Love (Greenbank Romances #3) by Karen Thornell
  • Two Wars and a Wedding by Lauren Willig
  • [ARC] To Poison a King (The Heirs of Isla #1) by S.G. Prince
  • Shattered Souls (Guardians of the Maiden #3) by Beck Michaels
  • A Girl Called Samson by Amy Harmon
  • Legends & Lattes (Legends & Lattes #1) by Travis Baldree
  • Love at First Psych by Cara Bastone
  • Flowerheart by Catherine Bakewell
  • [ARC] The Ashes & The Star-Cursed King (Crowns of Nyaxia #2) by Carissa Broadbent
  • Haley and the Yeti (Love Tucson #1) by Laura Langa
  • [ARC] In this Moment (Timeless #2) by Gabrielle Meyer
  • [Reread] Assassin’s Blade (Throne of Glass #0.5) by Sarah J. Maas
  • [ALC] A Shadow Crown (The Halfling Saga #2) by Melissa Blair
  • [ARC] Why Trey Let Me Get Away (Famously in Love #1) by Kortney Keisel
  • Before the Fortress Falls by A.L. Sowards
  • Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata
  • [ARC/ALC] Echoes of You (Lost & Found #2) by Catherine Cowles
  • [Novella] Kill Joy (A Good Girls’ Guide to Murder #0.5) by Holly Jackson
  • [ARC] Desire or Defense (Hooked on a Feeling #1) by Leah Brunner
  • [Reread] Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas
  • The Path of Daggers (The Wheel of Time #8) by Robert Jordan
  • [ARC] Bonesmith (House of the Dead #1) by Nicki Pau Preto
  • [ARC] The Never Heir (The Otherworlds #1) by Courtney Millecam
  • [ALC] Fourth Wing (The Empyrean #1) by Rebecca Yarros
  • [Gifted] To Swoon and to Spar (The Regency Vows #4) by Martha Waters
  • Finding Gene Kelly by Torie Jean
  • A Sinister Revenge (Veronica Speedwell #8) by Deanna Raybourn
  • Captured by Chaos by Kathryn Marie
  • [ARC/ALC] Practice Makes Perfect by Sarah Adams
  • An Amiable Foe (Castles and Courtship #1) by Jennie Goutet
  • [ARC] The Heart’s Choice (The Jewels of Kalispell #1) by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse
  • Silver in the Bone (Silver in the Bone #1) by Alexandra Bracken
  • The Darkest Sunrise (The Darkest Sunrise #1) by Aly Martinez
  • The Brightest Sunset (The Darkest Sunrise #2) by Aly Martinez
  • The Unselected Journals of Emma M. Lion (Vol. #2) by Beth Brower
  • [Novella] The Managing Miss (Promise of Forever After #5) by Heidi Kimball
  • The Weight of Air by Kimberly Duffy
  • Slaying the Vampire Conqueror (Mortal Enemies to Monster Lovers) by Carissa Broadbent
  • [ARC] The Art of Love and Lies by Rebecca Anderson

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Book Review

Book Review: A Fire Endless (Elements of Cadence #2) by Rebecca Ross

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 512 pages
Author: Rebecca Ross
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: December 6th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


East and West. Humans and Spirits. Breccans and Tamerlaines. The Isle of Cadence has always held itself and its residents in a tenuous balance. But now Bane, the spirit of the North Wind, has pushed everyone and everything in his path off-kilter in a bid to claim dominion over all.

In the West, Adaira struggles to adjust to the more brutal, bitter ways of life among the Breccans. Striving to find her place in the clan, she swiftly realizes that it just might be the last role she desires to hold. And while magic blooms effortlessly for the Breccans in the west, the spirits continue to suffer beneath Bane’s harsh power, felt in every gust of wind.

In the East, Jack is adrift without Adaira until he sings to the ember-weak fire spirits, acquiring a dangerous mission he never expected. One that is destined to lead him westward. Likewise, Torin and Sidra are consumed by a new mystery as sickness spreads first amongst the crops, and then to the people of the Tamerlaine clan. While Sidra desperately searches for a cure, Torin dares to strike a bargain with the spirits–a precarious folly anytime, but especially now as the days grow darker.

With the island falling further out of balance, humans and spirits alike will need to join together to face Bane, and Jack’s gift with the harp will be called upon once more. Yet no one can challenge the North Wind without paying a terrible price, and the sacrifice required this time may be more than Jack, Adaira, Torin, and Sidra can bear to pay.


I know, I know. You see that four star there and wonder WHY. I’ll give you why.

One of my biggest frustrations with any book that has a heavy romance plot is the separation of love interests for an extended period of time. I felt that with this being a duology, I didn’t like waiting around until 40% for one couple to be back on the same page. Pacing wise, it caused a, nothing is happening, slow down.

BUT OTHERWISE. I thought this was lyrically beautiful. I’m especially grateful I went ahead and waited for the audiobook because I love the Scottish narration. It adds a whole new layer and really transports me into this story.

I do love both of these couples. That second half had my heart wrapped in a vice. Pulling at every emotion. I loooved the quiet moments they both got and the strength they gave each other to keep rising. I adored this whole cast. Every character held value and the progression for everyone was great to watch.

The ending will leave you turning pages faster than you can read. It felt classic to Ross’s nature (as I’ve read all of her other books) and I love how she does it each time.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy Romance
  • Language: a little strong
  • Romance: fade to black
  • Violence: medium
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: weapons and physical violence, poisoning

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Book Review

ALC Book Review: Fourth Wing (The Empyrean #1) by Rebecca Yarros

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 512 pages
Author: Rebecca Yarros
Publisher: Entangled
Release Date: May 2nd, 2023
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general—also known as her tough-as-talons mother—has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.

But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, death is only a heartbeat away…because dragons don’t bond to “fragile” humans. They incinerate them.

With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. The rest would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter—like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.

She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise.

Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom’s protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise. Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.

Friends, enemies, lovers. Everyone at Basgiath War College has an agenda—because once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an ALC.


This book owns me. I am devastated. I will not recover. I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH.

Brief audio notes interlude: Love the narrator!! Would have loved a little more Teddy Hamilton (but maybe that’s coming in book two??) Any who, it was a fantastic listen and highly recommend that option!


I don’t even know where to begin because I have been an incomprehensible mess since finishing. Flailing around about how incredible this book was. I LOVED the FMC, Violet. The way she exhibited strength outside the standard “muscles and weapons” nature was great. I thought she was clever and full of heart and just an all around get main character.

AND THE ROMANCE? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? A beautiful enemies to lovers slow burn that will have you absolutely BEGGING for more. I loved the build and the chemistry. Watching the sparks fly and ignite. There were some scenes towards the end that put me in an chokehold and this is why FANTASY ROMANCE IS THE BEST.

The plot is intriguing and opened up a whole can of worms that I can’t wait to see explored in the sequel. I enjoyed all of the betrayals, reveals, announcements, politicking and more. It was seamless and deserves all the hype it’s been given because it is WORTH IT.


Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: 2-3 open door
  • Violence: high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: war themes, loss of loved ones, loss of life, physical and magical altercations, weapons violence, bullying

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