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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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Starling by Isabel Strychacz

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Paranormal Romance
Length: 448 pages
Author: Isabel Strychacz
Publisher: Simon Schuster
Release Date: November 9th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Edward Scissorhands meets When the Moon Was Ours in this enchanting, lushly romantic novel about two teen sisters who fight to protect the mysterious stranger who literally fell from the stars and into their backyard.

Strange things have always happened in the small town of Darling…

​Yet Delta Wilding and her sister Bee are familiar with the peculiar. Raised by an eccentric father always on the hunt for the spectacular, they’re used to following weather patterns that twirl onto strange paths, a car that refuses to play any artist but one, and living in a sentient house with whims of its own. But when a mysterious boy falls from the stars into the woods behind the Wilding sisters’ farmhouse, nothing can prepare them for the extraordinary turn their lives are about to take.

Extraordinary, and dangerous.

Starling Rust is not from this world and his presence in the Wilding home brings attention. As the terrified locals, Delta’s ex-boyfriend, and the unscrupulous mayor descend onto the Wilding’s home, both Delta and her sister go to incredible lengths to protect their mystical visitor—especially as Delta’s growing feelings for Starling could prove the greatest risk of all.

Filled with atmospheric prose and lush and vivid descriptions, Starling has the spectacular waiting with every flip of the page.

Thank you to the author for an eARC from winning a giveaway.

THE ATMOSPHERE.

Let me tell you I was GIDDY when I found out I won this giveaway. I’ve been hyped to read this book after following this author on Instagram for years. And y’all, get ready to add another book to your TBR.

The lush atmosphere of the town of Darling will transport you. I’m not usually one for a lot of prose and detail, but the way this was written had me captivated. I truly felt like I was there and that all of the detail I was getting was inherently important. The rotating multi-POV narrators captured many angles of the plot and really showed off some intricate characters who felt incredibly real.

Who knew I would highly enjoy an alien romance? Somehow over the course of just a few days I was allllll in the feels for Delta and Starling. They had this sense of magic about them and I loved all of the tiny interactions. It was an immediate connection that play the more “instant attraction” trope well.

The ending blindsided me. I realized just how emotionally invested and connected I was to Starling. I was wrapped up in the fray of chaos occurring and how those final scenes played out. THANK HEAVENS for an epilogue that gives me the hope and light for new horizons.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Paranormal Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses to one implied closed door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: missing Father, slut-shaming, gun violence, house fire, breaking and entering

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Book Review

Book Review: The Ex Hex (Ex Hex #1) by Erin Sterling

Rating: ☆☆☆1/2
Audience: Paranormal Romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Erin Sterling
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: September 28th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins, writing as Erin Sterling, casts a spell with a spine-tingling romance full of wishes, witches, and hexes gone wrong.

Nine years ago, Vivienne Jones nursed her broken heart like any young witch would: vodka, weepy music, bubble baths…and a curse on the horrible boyfriend. Sure, Vivi knows she shouldn’t use her magic this way, but with only an “orchard hayride” scented candle on hand, she isn’t worried it will cause him anything more than a bad hair day or two.

That is until Rhys Penhallow, descendent of the town’s ancestors, breaker of hearts, and annoyingly just as gorgeous as he always was, returns to Graves Glen, Georgia. What should be a quick trip to recharge the town’s ley lines and make an appearance at the annual fall festival turns disastrously wrong. With one calamity after another striking Rhys, Vivi realizes her silly little Ex Hex may not have been so harmless after all.

Suddenly, Graves Glen is under attack from murderous wind-up toys, a pissed off ghost, and a talking cat with some interesting things to say. Vivi and Rhys have to ignore their off the charts chemistry to work together to save the town and find a way to break the break-up curse before it’s too late.

PERFECT FOR THE SEASON.

If you’re looking for something that’ll give you spooky vibes, but not be overwhelming + a cute rom-com, this would be a good pick. It’s a short, quick read that gives a sweet HEA.

I liked the set-up and the withy/paranormal aspects. The hexing of the ex made me laugh (and think of that one episode of Friends..). A second-chance romance nine years later? Here for it. The characters were all good and fine, but I felt they were very shallow. I remember thinking the side characters didn’t have any layers and even with the main characters not so much. I’m sitting here now trying to think of nuanced personalities and coming up mostly blank.

There’s quite a bit more spice than I expected, which wasn’t for me (I know others love this though so take note!!). Things get heating pretty quickly and there’s a lot of innuendo throughout. That was the bigger focus rather than the more of everything I needed. More background, more build-up, etc.

The banter was fantastic and I liked the larger plot of fixing the ley lines and the moving curse. It’s a light-hearted story with perfect witchy goodness and I love how it fit the autumn season well.

Overall audience notes:

  • Paranormal Contemporary Romance
  • Language: strong throughout
  • Romance: multiple open door
  • Violence: car accident (no one w/life threatening injuries), death of a parent recounted

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