Book Review

Book Review: Smoke Show (Deadlights Cove #1) by B. Perkins and Aimee Vance

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Paranormal Romance
Length: 346 pages
Author: B. Perkins & Aimee Vance
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: July 19th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

When the dean of Bishop College in Boston threatened to close Petra Ambrose’s Pre-Revolutionary American History department, she could feel all of her work towards her dream career slipping through her fingers. To her dismay, students weren’t interested in American Puritanical culture and the status of women in their time, not unless it involved trendy witches glamourized in modern society.

In a last hope to save her job, Petra was tasked with finding something new and exciting to draw in more students. Not exactly sure where to start, she headed up the coast to explore sites other than cliche and touristy Salem.

Small-town Maine had her imagining a quaint village straight out of a romance novel on the water. To some extent, she found it, with the quirky, nosy neighbors, but Deadlights Cove was entirely too dingy to be run by its no-nonsense mayor. Plus, everyone in town seemed to be in on some joke at her expense, none more so than the mischievous and overly friendly bartender, Blaze. Far too handsome for his own good, the man had the unfair ability to irritate her more than anyone else ever had while simultaneously setting her heart racing.

With obstacles popping up at every turn, Petra was ready to throw her hands up and go back to the drawing board for a new strategy until she wound up at the center of a murder investigation.

Nothing was as it seemed in Deadlights Cove, and Petra could have just unearthed more than she’d ever imagined. But was discovering the truth about this town worth giving up everything she’d worked so hard for?

Follow Petra and Blaze’s story, along with the quirky band of local misfits, through the Deadlights Cove series, beginning with book one, Smoke Show. 

GREAT FOR THE SEASON.

Read this on a whim (and from a friend’s recommendation) and it hit the spot. This is a hidden gem for the paranormal romance genre!

I loved this small town and all of the characters. There’s all sorts of mythical types (demons, angels, shifters, witches, etc.) and they all fit into the story perfectly. Great autumn vibes for the setting that set the mood.

Petra was a great FMC. Had no major complaints and just enjoyed watching her explore Deadlights Cove and coming to terms with the new world surrounding her. Blaze was a swoony cinnamon roll. I loved their connection and build. It’s a bit insta-y for me, but over time I thought it all worked out just fine. There were a lot of good communication moments and I loved the way the third act was handled.

This leans on the lighter side and absolutely made me laugh out loud a few times. I can’t wait to read book two.

Overall audience notes:

  • Paranormal Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: two open; low-med explicit
  • Violence: medium
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: murder

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Wild is the Witch by Rachel Griffin

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: YA Paranormal Romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Rachel Griffin
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: August 2nd, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

When eighteen-year-old witch Iris Gray accidentally enacts a curse that could have dire consequences, she must team up with a boy who hates witches to make sure her magic isn’t unleashed on the world.

Iris Gray knows witches aren’t welcome in most towns. When she was forced to leave her last home, she left behind a father who was no longer willing to start over. And while the Witches’ Council was lenient in their punishment, Iris knows they’re keeping tabs on her. Now settled in Washington, Iris never lets anyone see who she really is; instead, she vents her frustrations by writing curses she never intends to cast. Otherwise, she spends her days at the wildlife refuge which would be the perfect job if not for Pike Alder, the witch-hating aspiring ornithologist who interns with them.

Iris concocts the perfect curse for Pike: one that will turn him into a witch. But just as she’s about to dispel it, a bird swoops down and steals the curse before flying away. If the bird dies, the curse will be unleashed―and the bird is a powerful amplifier, and unleashing the curse would turn not just Pike, but everyone in the region, into a witch.

New witches have no idea how to control their magic and the consequences would be dire. And the Witches’ Council does not look kindly on multiple offenses; if they found out, Iris could be stripped of her magic for good. Iris begs Pike to help her track the bird, and they set out on a trek through the Pacific Northwest looking for a single bird that could destroy everything. 

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an audio ARC.

TAKE ME TO THE WILDS.

I was craving a witchy read and this delivered. Wow do I love how atmospheric and moody Griffin is able to create in a setting. I felt like I was out in the wood with Iris and Pike. The vibes are all there to bring about the best things in paranormal reads.

A ridiculous meddling owl caused all sorts of problems leading to an adventure that brought our couple together. There were solid loath to love nods and I definitely felt the initial animosity between Iris and Pike. I liked the development of their relationship and the trust they formed together. And even when things fell apart the admittance of a connection had my heart swelling.

It’s a very fast paced read with the big focus on Iris righting her wrongs. The tumultuous events lead to declarations of feelings and powerful magical moments. I liked the choices made for the story including how the curse was resolved and the relationships in general. There’s great exploration of forgiveness and working through grief too.

All in all, a vivid read filled with perseverance and hope that the sun really will rise in the morning. I love the sense of learning to let go and let be and the many aspects of growing up.

Audiobook notes: I have none! I LOVED the audio and the narration. It was well done and definitely enhanced the story for me.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Paranormal Romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: make-outs
  • Violence: medium
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: parental divorce mentioned, PTSD & trauma, anxiety, panic attacks, blood & injury depiction, cancer mentioned, fire, animal death and injury

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Not the Witch You Wed (Supernatural Singles #1) by April Asher

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Paranormal Romance
Length: 352 pages
Author: April Asher
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: February 8th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A fake relationship between a magic-less witch and a wolf shifter turns to more in the start of a bewitching new paranormal rom-com series.

Magic-less witch Violet Maxwell wants nothing to do with alpha wolf shifter Lincoln Thorne—the man who broke her fragile, teenage heart. But when the two of them are forced by arcane Supernatural Laws to find mates, Violet and Lincoln agree to fake-date their way to a fake-mating in order to conjure themselves some time.

The joke’s on them. When old feelings make a reappearance—along with Violet’s magic—they both realize there’s nothing fake about their feelings. But there are old secrets and looming threats that could snatch away their happily ever after, again. One thing’s for sure: magic doesn’t make dating and love any easier.

In Not the Witch You Wed, April Asher brings all the hilarity and sweet, sexy moments you love in a romantic-comedy—plus a fun dose of magic—to this spell-binding new series about being sexy, single, and supernatural in New York City.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an audio ARC.

SURPRISED ME!

I am one of those readers who has never been super into shifter/paranormal romances. But I gave this a chance based off of a trusted friend’s remarks and y’all. I adored this!!!

Since I listened to an advanced audio copy let me first say, the audio was GREAT. I had no issues with the narration. Loved the way it was told, easy to keep on a high speed. It was wonderful and definitely recommend that avenue!

Back to the story now. Let me throw out some tropes that I LOVE that this book had: fake dating and fated mates. I will take those always and forever. I loooove fated mates and I think this was really well written! I think the addition of the second chance trope helped too. There’s a slow build, but clear attraction between Lincoln and Violet. I did struggle with how much heavy innuendo there was (but I know that’s a point for others, so I’m mentioning it!). There’s also DUAL-POV. Which I am an absolute sucker for.

I really liked the larger plot with the politics of shifter groups and supernatural organizations. The romance kept the necessary front seat, while an enjoyable back seat plot pushed the narrative forward. All around a wonderful read I’m glad I took a chance on and I can’t wait to see what next book will be in the series!

Overall audience notes:

  • Paranormal Romance
  • Language: strong
  • Romance: three brief, but very explicit open door
  • Violence: physical and magical altercations, bullying

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Righteous (The Beautiful #3) by Renée Ahdieh

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 456 pages
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s
Release Date: December 7th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The third book in the instant New York Times bestselling series that began with The Beautiful.

Pippa Montrose is tired of losing everything she loves. When her best friend Celine disappears under mysterious circumstances, Pippa resolves to find her, even if the journey takes her into the dangerous world of the fae, where she might find more than she bargained for in the charismatic Arjun Desai.

Renée is back with her rich, atmospheric fantasy world that will continue to enthrall readers, new romance and mystery, and lush, pacey writing.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC.

BEST OF THE BUNCH [SO FAR].

I’m still in shock over that ending y’all. SHOOKETH. And I can’t wait for more people to read this so we can chat about it because my mind is whirling with possibilities. Where does it go from here?! Way to set-up for an action packed finale.

I loved that this focused on Pippa and Arjun (and HELLO some of my favorite tropes!!). This turned into one of the few cases of more insta-ish love that I was all in for. Those two just worked. Fantastic chemistry, swoony kisses, and dire situations. The majority of the POV’s were from them and I liked the dynamic shift.

There’s points-of-view from some of the other characters in the series too. They’re many angles to the plot and seeing the shifting sides from werewolves, vampires, and fae are creating a thickly woven story.

I am very excited for the last book in this series. What started out as a meh series for me is turning into another highly enjoyable one.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses to closed door
  • Violence: physical altercations, weaponry, war themes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: domestic and child abuse recounted

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