Book Review

Book Review: A Dance with the Fae Prince (Married to Magic #2) by Elise Kova

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 374 pages
Author: Elise Kova
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Release Date: August 19th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

She knew her hand in marriage would be sold. She had no idea a fae prince was the buyer.

Katria swore she’d never fall in love. She’s seen what “love” means through the cruelty of her family. So when she’s married off to the mysterious Lord Fenwood for a handsome price, all Katria wants is a better life than the one she’s leaving. Feelings are off the table.

But her new husband makes not falling in love difficult.

As their attraction begins to grow, so too do the oddities within her new life: strange rules, screams in the night, and attacks by fae that Katria never thought were real. When she witnesses a ritual not meant for human eyes, Katria finds herself spirited away to the land of Midscape.

Surviving the fae wilds as a human is hard enough. Katria must survive as a human who accidently pilfered the magic of ancient kings – magic a bloodthirsty king is ready to kill her for in order to keep his stolen throne – and her new husband is the rightful heir in hiding.

The power to save the fae is in her hands. But who will save her from a love she vowed never to feel?

THIS COVER IS EVERYTHING.

I can’t help my obsession with this cover. It’s just gorgeous. Every time I pulled up this book to read I stared at it some more because I couldn’t have enough. It is what it is.

ANYWAYS, I guess I’ll discuss the book now.

The first half was realllll slow. Really slow. The romantic slow build up was working for me, but the plot slow build with the Fae lands was not. They kept clashing and I didn’t know how I was going to enjoy it by the end.

Cue the second half. Much appreciated that this got a lot of momentum and was actually interesting. Once the blindfolds were removed, hot dang the chemistry between Katria and Davien was finally able to take off. THANK HEAVENS.

After that it did become fairly predictable (it’s a Cinderella retelling). Which can be bad and good. I really did end up loving the romance between Katira and Davien and felt that passion and tension. They were pretty enigmatic and I felt caught up in Davien’s vivid green eyes myself (see, cover obsession acknowledgement prior). Katria also got a much needed character arc before my frustrations grew anymore. I’m really handing this star ranking over to the second half of this book. It’s whimsical, it’s romantic, and I do like the set-up for book three.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy Romance / Retelling
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses to brief open
  • Violence: physical altercations, weaponry, kidnapping, magical attacks
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of loved ones, child abuse

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

Book Review: The Call of the Void (Shadows and Crowns #3) by S.M. Gaither

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Fantasy + Romance
Length: 504 pages
Author: S.M. Gaither
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: October 18th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

War is building. Blood is spilling. And the gods are not pleased.

Casia has survived her brother’s attempts to crush her and her growing army, but the battle for their empire is just beginning. Bitter and wounded, carrying the curse of a dark and dangerous upper-god, and desperate for more allies, she charges northward to seek the elves who once walked alongside the divine beings.

The elven Court of Moreth holds knowledge. Secrets. And power. The kind of power that could shift all of Casia’s wars in her favor. If she can survive the dangerous politics and treacherous magic of the elf-kind.

While these outer battles rage, so too do the ones within. Elander is losing what remained of his divinity. His court. His powers. His grasp on what he once was and what he once knew. But he’s determined to keep fighting, gathering his own ancient allies and working to aid Casia in her wars. He lost her once. He won’t do it again.

But his devotion to her may be the very thing that destroys him.

And when that destruction comes, it comes with a twist—one that could change their entire world.

ANOTHER GOOD READ.

I am just highly enjoying this series!! Such a hidden gem that I can’t get enough of.

I read this book rather than listened and I think that made a difference in my rating. I thought it was a bit slower off the bat and that not as much happened in the overall plot. I was hoping for a bit more political intrigue and action, but that didn’t happen until the late second half.

What I did get a lot of was the roooomance! And I loved it! The spice was definitely stepped up a bit (which wasn’t my full cup of tea, but it’s cool). I love the progression and depth Elander and Casia with each other. They work together and build each other up and I love a supportive relationship like that. It’s always unique to see a fully formed couple before the series is even half over.

I can’t wait for the next read! I adore this entire cast and all of the close friendships. There’s some good movement here and I am thoroughly enjoying every moment.

Overall audience notes:

  • NA Fantasy Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: three open door
  • Violence: strong blood/gore
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: physical and magical altercations, war themes and battles, near death experiences

Instagram || Goodreads || The StoryGraph

Book Review

Book Review: Compared (The Sweet Rom”Com” #1) by Kortney Keisel

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 324 pages
Author: Kortney Keisel
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: January 4th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Meg

Confession: I’m attracted to my student’s dad. Let me give you Tyler Dixon’s resume: thoughtful, manly, father of the year, widower, ridiculously attractive (basically the opposite of a dad bod).

This might sound like good news for someone like me—someone who dreams of getting married and becoming a mom—but it’s not. Getting involved with a parent is grounds for immediate removal at my school, and right now, my fragile heart can’t handle being fired. My mom just died. My boyfriend broke up with me, and to top it all off, my dad started dating again. Stable employment is the only good thing I have. Risking my job and my heart is the most foolish thing I could do.

Tyler

Being a widower isn’t like the movies. There’s not a block of women knocking on my door, bringing me casseroles every day. No, real life is work, laundry, and groceries—all while being both the mom and the dad. I’m pretty much failing at this single-parent thing. I don’t have time to date. Which is good since the only woman I’m interested in keeps pushing me away: Miss Johnson. Emphasis on the Miss—as in, my son’s teacher. It’s hard to convince a woman to go out with you when she’ll get fired. But it’s either pursuing Meg, despite her job, or the never-ending depths of loneliness—no big deal.

Compared is a witty, heartfelt rom-com with a teacher/parent romance, an irresistible single dad, and swoony chemistry that will have you rooting for a happily-ever-after while keeping the romance closed-door.

THIS WAS GOOD.

I’ve mentioned before that I didn’t love Keisel’s YA dystopian series. Didn’t get past the first book. BUT, I had heard wonderful things about her turn in contemporary romance and thought I’d give it a shot. Happily surprised that this was a hit and I will be continuing this series!

I adored Tyler. I love the single Dad trope and this one was so tender and soft. Coping with grief and loss (Tyler is a widower) was at the forefront, but the way that it was presented was touching. I felt the emotions from him, and also appreciated the lighter, make me laugh kind of moments too. I thought that Tyler and Meg had a great connection and their meet-cute hit it off just right with the banter. Meg grew on me over the book and I liked her enough by the end.

What wasn’t my favorite was the the ridiculous ex-boyfriend who kept showing up for no reason. Meg and him broke-up, lets move on and not keep bringing him back for “drama”. I also didn’t love the push/pull towards the end. It was repetitive. I liked the all out argument and conversation leading to some moments of reflection, and then coming back together. That’s where it should’ve stopped.

Anywho, this was great. I liked the story and the couple a lot. I would love more stories with the other sisters (that’s where this is going right?!). I liked the side characters and the general nature of the book itself. Looking forward to the next.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: make-outs
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: depictions of grief, loss of a parent and wife (not on page, recounted often)

Instagram || Goodreads || The StoryGraph

Book Review

Book Review: The Saltwater Heir (The Blood and Water Saga #1) by Cassidy Clarke

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 560 pages
Author: Cassidy Clarke
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: June 25th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Princess Soren of Nyx is no stranger to loss after a decade-long war with the neighboring kingdom of Atlas. But with her best friend slowly succumbing to a cruel Atlas poison, she hatches a reckless plan: kidnap the enemy prince from the battlefield and use his life to barter for the antidote.

But when that prince calls her by a different name…the name of his sister, whose death began the war ten years ago…everything changes.

Stolen away to Atlas, trapped behind enemy lines, Soren must navigate a kingdom she knows nothing about, surrounded by a family she doesn’t remember, and work to hunt down the antidote only Atlas possesses, all while strange memories fight to take over-memories of a different life, a different home, a different girl.

And memories aren’t the only thing awakened by Soren’s return. Dark, forbidden magics begin to stir, threatening both her new life and her old. With death stalking in every shadow, the lost princess must fight harder and sacrifice more than she ever dreamed to save what she holds most dear. 

READ IT.

Uh wow, how have I not known about this book? It’s a gem. AND YOU NEED TO READ IT TOO PLEASE.

This, hands down, has the best sibling relationships I have ever read. They felt incredibly real and they were tight knit. But that didn’t stop arguments, nor did it stop apologies. I think getting a multi point of view set-up with everyone really sold this book for me. I loved seeing everyone’s sides and decisions. What they were thinking and how that played into the further plot.

The MAIN character, Soren, is just on the cusp of some major character arcs (well, everyone is for that matter). Saltwater did a great job of accomplishing a cast that needs to grow, but without making you not want to keep going. I LOVE the initial vibes for Finn, Kal, Soren, Elias and more. I think some serious moves will be made throughout the series.

There’s only a dash of romance at this time (which I am curious as to how it’ll be carried over multiple books). I would have loved a bit more, yet by the time some feelings were being expressed I realized I was very much emotionally attached to these two getting their way. The best kind of feelings towards fiction relationships.

I couldn’t get enough of this book and it is so easy to fly through. There’s not intense world-building throughout. It works well in that it’s still easy to know who’s who and what the overall plot will continue to be. I’m interested in many of the sub-plots with meddling gods and betrayals galore.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Language: some
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: medium
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of loved ones, wasting sicknesses, near death experiences, weapons violence, battle scenes

Instagram || Goodreads || The StoryGraph