Book Review

Book Review: Veins of Magic (The Otherworld #2) by Emma Hamm

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy retelling + romance
Length: 350 pages
Author: Emma Hamm
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: December 19th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The conclusion of Heart of the Fae, where Beauty and the Beast meets Irish Mythology.

Once upon a time…

Heartache dogs the steps of Sorcha of Ui Neill. Although she is home with her family, she is unable to shake the memories of her time in Hy-brasil. She heals with a heavy heart, tells stories with melancholy words, and cannot forget the magic of the Otherworld. When an opportunity arises to return to her beloved Fae Prince, she makes a questionable deal. Dark magic, druidic curses, and a witch open a portal and send her tumbling into the middle of a war she must end for the sake of all who dwell in the Otherworld.

Saving the faeries will not be easy when she has become a woman they fear.

The once banished king battles his way through the Otherworld, freeing the Lesser Fae with each swing of his sword. Each attack turns Eamonn into something far more beastly than before. Geodes multiply and hinder his movements, harden his heart, and crystalize his resolve.

Together, they face the King of the Seelie Fae and his golden army to end the war that will change the fate of the Otherworld forever.

SUCH A GOOD RETELLING.

Oh what a magical and great ending to this duology. A great retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I love seeing the parallels between the two of them. This of course added a lot more to it and made the story adult (in a good way).

I absolutely loved Sorcha. LOVED HER. She was so brave and courageous. Bold and brash. Didn’t take anything from Eamonn and I absolutely was all for how she handled each situation that came her way. Sorcha always knew what she wanted and who she loved. She really held this book. Though, for real, I LOVE Eamonn too. I loved the way that he acknowledged his mistakes. How much he truly loved Sorcha and actually listened to her. What a power couple they were! Long may they reign.

This book dove much deeper into the backgrounds of the fae life and the stories behind why Eamonn and his brother were in the tides of war against one another. It really made the conflict stand out and made this book more a larger impact.

There were definitely a couple of heart stopping moments where I actually didn’t know how it was going to end. It kept me on my toes and the action moments balanced well with the romance and tenderness between Eamonn and Sorcha. I can’t wait to read the other books in this universe!

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy romance retelling
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses, make-outs, a few mildly detailed love scenes
  • Violence: battles, swords, physical

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Book Review

Book Review: The Harvest (Call of the Sirens #1) by K.B. Benson

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy / Paranormal / Mythology
Length: 380 pages
Author: K.B. Benson
Publisher: Undaunted Publishing
Release Date: August 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Sometimes the most beautiful things grow in darkness.

Iris never expected to live her life trapped on land. Nor was she prepared for what she would find there. A siren isn’t supposed to fall in love with her prey.

When Jace moved to Santa Cruz, he never imagined he’d risk his life to protect a monster. He soon finds that ancient myth has become reality. And not every pretty face is what it seems.

After Iris sings her siren’s song to Jace — a hypnotic melody that leads men to death beneath the waves — both of their worlds are turned upside down. Will Iris give in to her bloodlust or will she turn her back on everything she’s ever known?

As the tide runs red with the blood of the Harvest, Iris must choose: save the life of the human boy she loves or sacrifice her chance at humanity forever.

STARTED OFF STRONG.

I wanted to love this more than I did, and it started off pretty strong. I was invested and loving the siren/mermaid vibes (because I’m always here for books about mermaids). This ended up feeling like younger YA trying to be a more mature YA.

The background and plot were interesting. I liked having Iris beached on land and forced to take care of her siren duties. It was a bit murderous and I did like that darker side to the plot. I actually got to see the siren’s in action rather than just hints of what’s happening below the surface.

Jace was definitely my favorite character. He felt natural in the story and was a high school boy in love. Jace and Iris together were pretty cute. I liked getting to follow their relationship [at first]. Where I struggled was with the random “dates” and tangents of them hanging out to make it feel like more was happening. I wish those interactions really held more sway to the overall plot rather than feeling frilly and unnecessary. I thought Jace and Iris had a good relationship overall. The way Jace was written was rather annoying, but in a good way. You could see his obsession with Iris begin to take over his life. I thought his POV chapters were great. Jace was clearly trying to maintain a level head as the pull of Iris and the ocean became stronger.

With all the time spent on trying to force me to love their relationship it really dragged out the story, and that’s where everything started to fall apart for me. This book is nearly 400 pages long, and I’d say 150 of those weren’t wholly necessary. I thought the book was well-written minus the pacing issues.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA paranormal contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: some kisses and an intense make-out
  • Violence: sirens attacking humans, drownings

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: My Spring TBR!

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

Oh man, I’ve got new releases, great backlist and all the in-between for my Spring TBR. It’s going to be a good season!

Imagine Me (Shatter Me #6) by Tahereh Mafi

AHHHHH WE ARE AT LAST AT THE LAST BOOK. I still don’t know if this series should have been continued, but these books are also addicting so it’s fine. I am excited to know how this will all wrap up!


A Voice in the Wind (Mark of the Lion #1) by Francine Rivers

My library hold for this is FINALLY coming through in the next two weeks. I’m going to try listening to it first. I’ve been interested in this because the rave reviews have me convinced I’ll love it.


Lucky Caller by Emma Mills

I saw this on Instagram, thought it sounded like a cute YA contemporary debut. And here we are! My library hold will come through soon and I think I’ll find it as the perfect spring book.


Voyager (Outlander #3) by Diana Gabaldon

I’m almost finished with Dragonfly in Amber, so I KNOW I will read this one in the next month. I’m trying to read one a month (because whoa every single one of these books is massive).


Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

UH OF COURSE I’M READING THIS THE MOMENT IT IS IN MY HANDS. That’s all the information you need about how much I loved Aurora Rising.


Dark Shores (Dark Skies #2) by Danielle L Jensen

I was very fortunate to receive an ARC of this book, and I am thrilled. I really enjoyed Dark Shores and I’m obsessed with her other duology, The Bridge Kingdom. This is sure to be a great read!


A Murderous Relation (Veronica Speedwell #5) by Deanna Raybourn

At last, I get the ending to this series. AND AT LAST I BETTER GET A HAPPY ENDING.


Of Curses and Kisses (St. Rosetta’s Academy #1) by Sandhya Menon

A denial from Netgalley didn’t deter me from still wanting to read this. My library got it so it’s not waiting in my holds! I loooove a Beauty and the Beast retelling.


The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

It’s time. It’s time for me to read a book from the Queen of the slow-burn romance. This is a mega contemporary and I am mega ready for it.


King of the South (Belgrave Dynasty #1) by Calia Reed

I saw a favorite author of mine recommend this, and after I looked it up I knew I wanted to read it. A historical romance that sounds oh so good.

What books are on your Spring TBR? Do we have any of the same ones? Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Review

Book Review: Faking Under the Mistletoe by Ashley Shepherd

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 327 pages
Author: Ashley Shepherd
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: November 8th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Olivia Langley is the human embodiment of Christmas cheer, and she has absolutely no problem spreading it around for all to hear.

Christmas sweaters? She has twenty. Christmas cookies? She’ll take three dozen. Christmas movies? Yeah, she’s seen them all.

So it’s no surprise when she’s put in charge of Loveridge & McGowan’s holiday festivities. Secret Santas? Yep. Ice skating? Of course. Holiday trivia? Duh. Christmas-themed bar crawl? That’s one big jingle bell hell yes.

Kissing her boss at a Christmas tree lighting in front of his ex-girlfriend? Well… it is the season of giving.

And Olivia does not come with a gift receipt. No exchanges. No returns. No refunds. All sales are final.

In an effort to ungrinch the grinchiest man she’s ever met, Olivia enlists herself, Santa’s Executive Helper, to scheme up a plan that includes sleigh rides, snow days, and one too many mistletoe kisses, which certainly gets Asher’s tinsel in a tangle.

She’s pretty sure that she sleighed this whole fake dating thing.

Well… until she realizes there’s nothing fake about her feelings for Asher, and suddenly tangled tinsel, unsolicited Christmas trees, and celebrity heartthrobs are the least of her worries.

YAAAAAS TO THIS CHRISTMAS CONTEMPORARY.

Kindle unlimited, indie author, bookstagram recommendation FOR. THE. WIN.

No really. A grumpy guy, a effervescent woman, and Christmas? Hit this one out of the ballpark.

I love enemies to lovers and books like this remind me why. I love the juxtaposition between the two of them. The banter was fantastic and didn’t over step that line of actually being mean to each other. I was laughing to myself over some of the scenes in there because they were too humorous not too. This office romance (with a fake girlfriend component) was PRECIOUS.

Asher was such a charming Grinch. Can’t even handle him. He could throw out the sarcasm and grumpiness then turn around and be considerate and kind. I love seeing those layers peel away slowly as he opened up to Olivia.

Olivia had me laughing at her antics and I feel spiritually seen with how much she loves treats. Her extrovert, people pleasing personality that screamed Christmas was fantastic. She went on her own emotional journey [because of some awful people] that shed lighter on tough subject matter. Olivia was a strong heroine that I immensely enjoyed reading about.

This book was romantic and sweet. Full of emotions and tough moments. Love and charismatic characters. All the things. I can’t wait to read more of Shepherd’s books because this was exactly what I was looking for when I tried to find a contemporary Christmas romance.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance [Christmas theme]
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses, make-outs, one little detailed almost scene, and another little detailed fade out scene
  • Trigger warnings: sexual assault to the MC and mentions and discussions on the man’s behavior with others

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: A Temporary Boyfriend (The Fake Romance Series #2) by Summer Dowell

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 157 pages
Author: Summer Dowell
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: March 5th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

How far would you go to get your dream job?Madison Hudson has spent the last six years working for the position that’s almost in her grasp. She’s got the qualifications, the schooling, the perfect resume; all she has left is to impress her future boss. Something a little white lie about an imaginary boyfriend can achieve. Eric Ward usually stays away from drama. As a matter fact, he generally prefers computers to humans. But when his sister begs him to play her roommate’s boyfriend for a night, he can’t find an excuse to say no. How hard can one evening be? Pity no one told him ahead of time what a knockout his fake girlfriend would be.How long before their little white lie turns into a whole lot more than these two planned for?

Thank you to the author for a digital copy. All opinions are my own!

SHORT AND SWEET.

Another cute installment in the Fake Love Series. At its length it’s easy to read in one evening if you’re needing a pick me up in-between bigger books (which is something I’m always looking for)!

There’s not a whole lot to this book, which is its strength and weakness. I was immediately tossed into the story with little time to bring me slowly in. Meeting Madison and her dilemma happen within the first few pages. Meeting Eric happens shortly after. I do like the quick pace, but I always wish these books were longer. More character background, some deeper drama, maybe a sub-plot or two. Doesn’t matter! Just something to make this more than 150 pages and for me to really have a chance to be sucked in. I feel by the time I get there I’m nearing the epilogue.

The chemistry between Madison and Eric was great. I looooved their banter and found myself snickering at their flirtations. They had plenty of interactions and time to talk that their relationship made sense and gave me plenty of warm fuzzies.

I liked the plot, but wish it had been more put together towards the end (there’s a name issue that never gets solved so I’m still wondering how that works out). I do enjoy these quick and light stories and definitely plan to read the last one!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: The Romance Books I’m Reading for February!

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

I have really found myself in such a mood for romance books this February. And honestly, I’m not even that big of a Valentine’s day person or anything. It must be something in the air!

Anyways, I put together a list of books I’ve already read and those I plan to, all involving lots of romance. Plenty of books I beg of you to get on your TBR.

Already read:

Eleanor & Grey by Brittainy C. Cherry

Review to come in May!

This was a pretty good second chance romance. Only a little steam. Had some issues with the speed and the amount of drama added in, but I still enjoyed it.


A Temporary Marriage: Fake Love Series by Summer Dowell

Review to come in May!

This was the perfect fluffy, halmark-esque quick (less than 200 pages) book to read in between some heavier books. I thought the story was cute and definitely had a happy ending.


A Court of Wings and Ruin (ACOTAR #3) by Sarah J. Maas

Review

One of the THREE re-reads I have planned out for this month. I love these books y’all. Definitely a great romance to read again this time of year.


Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon

Review to come in May!

Recently finished this last week and Y’ALL. I have been officially sucked into this romance. Jamie and Claire forever. My heart aches for this story and I am desperate to know what happens next.


The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Curse #2) by Marie Rutkoski

Review to come in May! (I didn’t write reviews when I read this the first time)

My second re-read. I LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH. It was time for a re-read. The audio book is amazing by the way if you’re curios. A great enemies to lovers romance.


Wild at Heart (Wild #2) by K.A. Tucker

Review scheduled for February 19th!

Ohhhhhh I loved this. It was so wonderful. That subtle five stars that sneak up on you by the end. I love reading books about couples that are already together!

To Be Read:

The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

Review

This might be under the “to be read” section only because I haven’t read it *yet*…this year. This will be my THIRD time reading it in preparation for book two! I NEED TO WRITE IN CAPS AGAIN, THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. YOU SHOULD READ IT.


The Traitor Queen (The Bridge Kingdom #2) by Danielle L. Jensen

I DON’T KNOW HOW I CAN CONVEY MY EXCITEMENT THAT THIS BOOK COMES OUT THIS MONTH. I AM BEYOND EXCITED. BEYOND.


The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

Another favorite author of mine releasing a dark romance that sounds so amazing I am anxiously waiting for my pre-order to get here on release day.

Are you reading any romance books for February? Have you read any of these books? Lets talk in the comments!

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