Book Review

Book Review: These Hollow Vows (These Hollow Vows #1) by Lexi Ryan

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA/NA Fantasy Romance
Length: 464 pages
Author: Lexi Ryan
Publisher: HMH
Release Date: July 20th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From New York Times best-selling author Lexi Ryan, Cruel Prince meets A Court of Thorns and Roses in this sexy, action-packed fantasy about a girl who is caught between two treacherous faerie courts and their dangerously seductive princes.

Brie hates the Fae and refuses to have anything to do with them, even if that means starving on the street. But when her sister is sold to the sadistic king of the Unseelie court to pay a debt, she’ll do whatever it takes to get her back—including making a deal with the king himself to steal three magical relics from the Seelie court.

Gaining unfettered access to the Seelie court is easier said than done. Brie’s only choice is to pose as a potential bride for Prince Ronan, and she soon finds herself falling for him. Unwilling to let her heart distract her, she accepts help from a band of Unseelie misfits with their own secret agenda. As Brie spends time with their mysterious leader, Finn, she struggles to resist his seductive charm.

Caught between two dangerous courts, Brie must decide who to trust with her loyalty. And with her heart.

READ IT.

Did I think I would be saying that when I started reading this book? No. BUT Y’ALL. Let me convince you to read it too.

THV has been touted as an ACOTAR/TCP (The Cruel Prince) mash-up. I know this may be a bad thing to some, but for me it made me love it allllll the more. Many books claim to be like those classic fae reads, and I love that this one ACTUALLY DELIVERED on that fact. It gives all the vibes you could hope for, with being its own story, and that’s what I’m here for.

Hello a love triangle I can handle. This was written beautifully. Even if I made my pick once the second love interest came onto the page, I still felt drawn both ways. I had to yell a few times at the book of course, but by that ending, all things became clear and I will not hear further commentary and WHO BRIE SHOULD BE WITH.

I loooove the strong sister bond here too. Brie is a fierce force of nature who will do whatever she needs to do in order to save her sister. I love her passion and strength. Those closing scenes had me fist pumping at her bad-a self and I can not wait to see her revenge in the next book.

There’s gossipy goblins and curses. Twists and turns with plenty of action. Soft and subtle moments that will bring the swoon. Goodness, I just adored this book.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA/NA Fantasy Romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses to brief open door
  • Violence: physical and magical altercations
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: kidnapping, loss of parents and loved ones, indentured servitude, poisoning, near death experiences

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Never Saw You Coming by Erin Hahn

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Erin Hahn
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: September 7th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Raised by conservative parents, 18-year-old Meg Hennessey just found out her entire childhood was a lie. Instead of taking a gap year before college to find herself, she ends up traveling north to meet what’s left of the family she never knew existed.

While there, she meets Micah Allen, a former pastor’s kid whose dad ended up in prison, leaving Micah with his own complicated relationship about the church. The clock is ticking on Pastor Allen’s probation hearing and Micah, now 19, feels the pressure to forgive – even when he can’t possibly forget.

As Meg and Micah grow closer, they are confronted with the heavy flutterings of first love and all the complications it brings. Together, they must navigate the sometimes-painful process of cutting ties with childhood beliefs as they build toward something truer and straight from the heart.

In Erin Hahn’s Never Saw You Coming, sometimes it takes a leap of faith to find yourself.

Thank you to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for an eARC.

I LOVED THIS.

Hahn’s books are only getting better and better. Oh wow did I love this. My favorite of her books so far.

I am a religious person so I wasn’t sure how I would feel reading this. But the way that many important topics were discussed and approached made me tear up and want to hug this book. It hit home in many ways and honestly strengthened how I feel in my spirituality. It’s okay to question. It’s okay to love. It’s okay to find what works best for YOU. I may not 100% agree with every little thing in this book, but faith is handled differently by each of us and no two experience life the same way.

The absolutely precious first love romance between Micah and Meg had me grinning from ear to ear. IT WAS SO CUTE. I loved it. They truly hit it off and I couldn’t get enough of their open conversations and meaningful dialogue about their struggles and triumphs. Even better, there wasn’t some wildly dramatic conflict between them. The conflict lied elsewhere and I could shout for joy about how that was handled.

NSYC had me hooked from the first chapter. I read it in a day because I needed more more more. The characters were flawed and beautiful. I ended up loving the themes of faith and the essence of human nature versus God himself. It wasn’t a book of belittling, it was a book of hope and growing up. Being resilient in the torrent of trials and leaning on what matters to you most.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Contemporary Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses to heated make-outs; some implied closed door scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: brief mentions of suicide and self harm, an incarcerated father, loss of a parent by drunk driving

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Book Review

Book Review: The Exchange (London Prep #1) by Jillian Dodd

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 
Audience: New adult contemporary romance
Length: 314 pages
Author: Jillian Dodd
Publisher: Swoonworthy Books
Release Date: March 19th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

London Prep—where the boys are as cute as their accents.

When my parents told me that I’d be spending three weeks at a London prep school on a student exchange my junior year, I was furious. I love New York. My school. My friends. And I didn’t want to leave. But after some not-so-subtle insistence about experiencing a new culture, gaining worldly knowledge, and the fact that it was only three weeks, I knew I wasn’t getting out of it.

So, I decided that if I had to go, I might as well have some fun.
Which was how I met Harry at a pub. His blue eyes, adorable accent, and charm instantly won me over—right after his lips did.

And I started to think that London might not be so bad.

But then I met Noah.
He’s tall, dark, intense, and spends way too much time in the shower. I know this because I have to live with him. And did I mention that he hates me?

My first day at school is more eventful than I anticipated. A boy named Mohammad takes me under his wing, declares himself my guide to the “hostile and hormonal battlefield that is Kensington School,” and lays three facts on me:

He, Harry, and Noah are best mates.
I’m the new girl and bound to cause drama.
And I’ve already got his boys all twisted up.

I’m in way over my head, and it’s only my first day!

REALITY BOOK AT ITS FINEST.

I’m kinda laughing at myself for reading this. It’s not usually what I pick up, but after a couple of friends good reviews I decided, what the heck?

And then…I was sucked in by all the tropes I don’t usually like. Insta-love + love triangle. WHO AM I? I’m concluding that I really needed a palate cleanser from the bigger fantasies I’ve been reading lately.

Though, now I’m invested, and have chosen a side (TEAM NOAH). Which means I’ve already downloaded book two because I need some answers.

The only way to describe this is that I felt like I was watching a realty TV show that isn’t all that fantastic, but couldn’t look away from. This is filled with a lot of drama, girl fights, club parties on a Wednesday, and a prep school. Mallory has some older YA vibes (and the book I honestly think leans towards new adult) that I liked. She could handle herself, even wrapped up in hormones, and had a quirky personality that made me connect with her.

I adore the boys she’s fallen in with. Harry, Noah and Mohammed are a fun group. Definitely make some poor choices, but adds some spice to this [only] week long story line.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA / New adult contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong throughout
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; innuendo and general discussions of sex
  • Violence: physical altercations
  • Trigger/Content warnings: physically abusive parent, underage drinking

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Book Review

Book Review: Of Sun & Sandstorms (A Swift Shadows Novella #2.5) by M.L. Greye

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy novella
Length: 123 pages
Author: M.L. Greye
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: September 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

It’s not easy becoming king to a country you never wanted to run in the first place.

Trezim Azure Niroz was once the third prince of Heerth. Just a few short weeks ago, his highest aspirations had been training his little band of Golds in sun blades and the Turanga. Now, he’s king with a whole slew of issues. The worst part of it all is that because of some tedious, ancient custom, Trezim can’t make any decisions for his country – at least, not until he finds himself a bride.

“Of Sun & Sandstorms” is a Swift Shadows novella following the golden-eyed King Trezim in Heerth.

I NEED MORE.

Trezim is definitely one of my favorite characters in this series. I jumped at this novella because how could I not read this?! It was short, sweet, and to the point.

I actually really liked the development of his quick relationship with Sefia. The way the pair/bonding system works in this series is well crafted and believable. While things moved speedily I was still swept up in the romantics of it all. The kiss scenes were on point.

I wonder how this will play into the third book for this series. There’s a lot going on in just over 100 pages and I think it’ll tie in well. I love Trezim and his new bride and can’t wait for them to meet back up with Emry and Declan.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy novella
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: physical altercations, magic attacks

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