Book Review

ARC Book Review: King’s Bride (The Chronicles of Urn #1) by Beck Michaels

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 500 pages
Author: Beck Michaels
Publisher: Pluma Press
Release Date: May 23rd, 2023
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


He’s the God of Death. She’s the bride sent to kill him. Their union may be the end of them both.

The Everfrost is ruled by the King in his castle of ice. Some call him the Ice Phoenix, others the God of Death. The clans survive by one law alone: pay the King the homage he is due and never take what belongs to him. But when Sunnëva Morkhàn’s brother falls gravely ill, she will have to do exactly that.
Against every warning, she sneaks into the castle to steal the one thing that would save him—a magical rose. But you don’t steal from the King and live to tell the tale. When the Ice Phoenix discovers her theft and demands payment, the cost is too steep. Mourning and enraged, she challenges him, only to lose. To spare her clan from the King’s wrath, her father offers her as a bride, and for a reason she cannot fathom, the King agrees.
Revenge is a delicate game Sunnëva is determined to play, even if killing the God of Death is no easy feat. But as secrets unfold around the alluring King, and dark threats emerge from the shadows, Sunnëva struggles to hold on to her hatred—and her heart.

Inspired by Beauty and the Beast, King’s Bride is the first book in Beck Michaels’ companion prequel series, the Chronicles of Urn—dark fables founded in forbidden love and strong-willed women who bring kings to their knees.

Thank you Storygram Tours and Beck Michaels for an eARC.


This book took me on a journey. I realllllly enjoyed it. It’s a captivating beauty and the beast retelling and I loved that it was in the same world of Michaels other series and I noticed a few world building and magic system themes that carried over. I love connections like that.

I was worried the romance would have been off to the races and I was happy to see that it did keep to a slower paced burn. I thought the chemistry between Sunnëva and Jökull was fiery and very well heated. There were a lot of moments I highlighted because I love a swoony death god with words. Spice wise, it went over my line of plot vs. spice. There was an extra scene or two that didn’t fit with the plot and took away from the story for me. Otherwise, I truly was rooting for this relationship and loved all of the development throughout. For a standalone I thought this covered a lot of bases well and wrapped up things too.

There’s a few small plot/writing quirks that I noticed that brought me to a four star. I thought pieces of the ending felt rushed (though I will say I still loved the very end, it’s a HEA don’t worry!!). I’m curious now to make more connections between the two series and seeing how this story intertwines (this do NOT spoil anything for the Guardians of the Maiden series and can be read as a standalone).

Overall audience notes;

  • Fantasy Romance
  • Language; some strong
  • Romance: 4+ open; high explicit
  • Violence: moderate
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: mentions of past sexual assault trauma (the act is not show but given to understand), loss of life, battle themes, blood/gore depiction

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Book Review

Book Review: A Dawn of Onyx (The Sacred Stones #1) by Kate Golden

Rating: ★★★★☆
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 456 pages
Author: Kate Golden
Publisher: The Daisy Press
Release Date: December 15th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Captured by a king of darkness. Forced to find the light within.

Arwen Valondale never expected to be the brave one, offering her life to save her brother’s. Now she’s been taken prisoner by the most dangerous kingdom on the continent, and made to use her rare magical abilities to heal the soldiers of the vicious Onyx King.

Arwen knows better than to face the ancient, wicked woods that surround the castle on her own, which means working with a fellow prisoner might be her only path to freedom. Unfortunately, he’s as infuriating as he is cunning—and seems to take twisted
pleasure in playing on Arwen’s deepest fears.

But here in Onyx Kingdom, trust is a luxury she can’t afford.

To make it out of enemy territory, she’ll have to navigate back-stabbing royals, dark magic, and dangerous beasts. But untold power lies inside Arwen, dormant and waiting for a spark. If she can harness it, she just might be able to escape with her life—and hopefully, her heart.


I did not expect to love this the way I did. I put it off for a bit because it seemed too hyped and I wanted to see more reviews. Then on a whim, HERE WE ARE. 4.5 stars of romantasy goodness.

This had a much more true slow burn that worked better for me than a few recent books. I loooove hidden identity plots so dang much. Even when I know it’s coming, still makes my day. And this kept slowly revealing Kane’s history and nature and I loved every second of it. I thought Kane and Arwen had some actual chemistry and I enjoyed the banter between them. I liked seeing them get to know each other and have some soft moments amidst the action.

And plenty of action was had! I loved that it kept a pretty fast pace with enough things going on that I rarely felt a drag. Within that though is my one small complaint. A lack of world building. More of it made sense towards the end, but I have MANY questions about the dynamics of everything.

I think the FMC could use a bit more work, but as far as character arcs go, I am very much on board with the sequence. I am soooo excited to see how book two continues the development of characters and storyline.

It was a good read y’all.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: 1 open; + some innuendo
  • Violence: high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: war themes, physical and magical altercations, near death experiences, loss of a mother, weapons violence, kidnapping, attempted sexual assault

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Ashes and the Star-Cursed King (Crowns of Nyaxia #2) by Carissa Broadbent

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 600 pages
Author: Carissa Broadbent
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: April 14th, 20223
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Love is a sacrifice at the altar of power.

In the wake of the Kejari, everything Oraya once thought to be true has been destroyed. A prisoner in her own kingdom, grieving the only family she ever had, and reeling from a gutting betrayal, she no longer even knows the truth of her own blood. She’s left only with one certainty: she cannot trust anyone, least of all Raihn.

The House of Night, too, is surrounded by enemies. Raihn’s own nobles are none too eager to accept a Turned king, especially one who was once a slave. And the House of Blood digs their claws into the kingdom, threatening to tear it apart from the inside.

When Raihn offers Oraya a secret alliance, taking the deal is her only chance at reclaiming her kingdom–and gaining her vengeance against the lover who betrayed her. But to do so, she’ll need to harness a devastating ancient power, intertwined with her father’s greatest secrets.

But with enemies closing in on all sides, nothing is as it seems. As she unravels her past and faces her future, Oraya finds herself forced to choose between the bloody reality of seizing power – and the devastating love that could be her downfall.

Thank you to Book of Matches Media and Carissa Broadbent for an eARC.


I went in to this with some VERY high levels of hype and I was NOT DISAPPOINTED. I can NOT handle when the MMC is absolutely gone for the FMC. And Raihn WAS GONE. There’s even dual POV SO WE GET BOTH SIDES.

I CAN’T STOP THE CAPS I’M SORRY (but not really).

There was this beautiful slow build to the plot and romance that kept me wholly engaged. And about the 45% mark I was GLUED to my screen. I devoured the rest of the book needing to know all the answers and finding that amazing ending. I loooove how Raihn and Oraya both worked on their relationship. There was plenty to apologize for and concessions to be made and these two found love in a hopeless place AND I LOVE THEM SO MUCH.

And the Vincent story line?? That about made me cry. It was EMOTIONAL. I am in absolute awe of how Carissa Broadbent took this character’s story line and gave it such an impactful and raw telling. That was not easy to do and she absolutely nailed it.

The high levels of action will have you fearing for everyone’s lives and desperately flying through pages to see who comes out on the other side. I loved all of the reveals, betrayals, big moments, little moments, and 100+ things I highlighted and bookmarked.


Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy Romance
  • Language: strong
  • Romance: multiple open; high explicit
  • Violence: high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: discussion of rape and sexual assault (off screen), blood play, violence against children, complicated father/daughter relationship

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Book Review

Book Review: Shattered Souls (Guardians of the Maiden #3) by Beck Michaels

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 763 pages
Author: Beck Michaels
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: September 27th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Survival demands more than blood. It demands souls.

Alone and afraid, the time has come for Dyna to be her own savior. She will use every skill and spell her Guardians taught her to survive. Because the damsel is dead. This time, she fights.

Cassiel and the Guardians are desperate to find their Maiden. Except they cannot do it alone. The journey to cross Troll Bridge proves harder than ever as they race against the impending winter. When the High King summons him to answer for his crimes, Cassiel will sacrifice everything in order to save the one person he can’t live without. Even if it means his fate will end in exile—or a throne.

Dyna and her Guardians will all face a trial by fire as they confront their greatest threat yet. Themselves. And when ice meets flame, will they pay the price?

The hunt for Mount Ida reaches new heights and dark lows as the Guardians of the Maiden continues in this heart gripping tale about the bounds of love, duty, and power.

Thank you to the author for a gifted audiobook.


I have had an up and down ride with this series, and this installment overall made me want to continue. I still feel invested in the overall plot and storylines for this cast. Towards the end there were multiple villain era-esque lines popping up and I AM HERE FOR IT ALL. Let’s make some of these characters a bit more gray because I have been waiting books to see this happen.

But 750 pages? Nooooo. Way too long. The amount of time spent on Dyna and Cassiel’s romantic relationship was, good heavens, expounded upon past the point of true enjoyment. I enjoyed some of the scenes that we did get (and that spice is kept on the more minimal side!), but I just needed less. I’m really interested in a new potential romance that’s brewing and some of the other character arcs almost more at this point. I did think it was interesting to get the villain’s back story because a lot more things make sense in regards to his dynamic now too.

The plot stalled here and there (as previously mentioned). There was some movement and I liked seeing where things are going. I truly did enjoy the audiobook a lot. It’s how I’ve read all of these books and I will continue to do so. The narrators do an amazing job and I continually found myself wanting to listen to this book.

Curious where the ending will take us next!!

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy Romance
  • Language: some mild
  • Romance: vague open door
  • Violence: high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of life, murder, kidnapping, torture, battle and war themes

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