Bane of Dragons – Clara Hartley

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Bane of Dragons – Clara Hartley

I'm surrounded by dragons, and they're all afraid of me.

At the age of nine, I mistakenly touched someone else, giving him excruciating pain. Through that awful experience, I found out that a graze of my fingertips could torment any being with dragon blood. Because I was surrounded by them in my kingdom, my ability labelled me as cursed. And with that, my family lost everything.

I promised myself to never be shunned away again. That I had to be someone important for people to look up to. A crucial vote was coming up and I would do anything to win it. Then I met them. Four hidrae princes, dragon-shifters of the most powerful kind, who were immune to my abilities. Being able to touch someone else was intoxicating. Associating with them was killing my chances of winning the vote, but the princes drew me in—Rylan with his regal demeanor, Micah with his mystery, Kael who threw all care to the winds... and Gaius? Gaius should just fall on his face and die.

Don't miss this slow-burn reverse harem romance, set in a world of fantasy, dragons and intrigue!

Bane of Dragons by Clara Hartley
Series: Sera's Curse #1
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Reverse Harem, Fantasy
Pages: 330
four-half-stars

Wow.

This is the first book I’ve read of Clara Hartley’s. In fact, I hadn’t even heard of her until a few days ago. I discovered her through one of the facebook groups I’m in where she was looking for reviewers for one of her new releases. It sounded good, so I joined her group and signed up to be a part of her ARC team. This book was an available title for review, so I requested to review it. I’m really into dragon shifters recently, so I was all about giving this new (to me) author a shot–and I’m not disappointed in the least.

I love Ms. Hartley’s writing style. She somehow perfectly encapsulated humor as well as angst, while making you feel so indignant on the heroine’s behalf of the treatment she receives. Sera is extremely ambitious and goal-oriented. She has a specific target in mind and she’s worked all her life to get to where she is. She’s gone to great lengths to hide her curse–every time she touches someone, they feel intense and excruciating pain–and attempts to live a normal life. This includes her constant wearing of gloves and robes with long sleeves and collars, taking care not to leave any skin exposed that could come into contact with another person. It’s a lonely and isolating life–she hasn’t even hugged her parents or her sister since before she was nine–but she’s determined to make the most of it.

Enter the [devastatingly handsome] princes. When they touch her, her curse doesn’t affect them. What they do feel, however, is a warm, enthralling, tingling sensation whenever their skin touches.

Each prince has a unique personality, and I have to admit–I wasn’t too impressed with them at first. They’re all spoiled and think far too highly of themselves, though Gaius is the worst of them. I got so frustrated with them when they’re first introduced, though three of them came around pretty easily. Gaius is infuriating and treats Sera like scum. Even though he has a pretty good reason behind his disdain, it doesn’t fully excuse his actions, and quite frankly, I was hoping she would snap and punch him or something–I sure wanted to!

There were a few parts in this book that were somewhat inconsistent and confused me a little bit. For instance, they’re all a little wary of her at first, and then it’s like they instantly fell for her and had zero reservations. The instalove sorta bugs me, but it’s a common occurrence in romance novels–especially paranormal/fantasy–so it’s not enough to turn me off from a book; just annoys me a little bit. But that’s just me [:

Also, speaking of things that bug me … View Spoiler »

Honestly, this book reminded me so much of Trickery, and I love those books. I definitely think most people who like the Curse of the Gods series will probably enjoy this book, as well.

In all, I devoured this book in a day and a half. I couldn’t stop reading. I had to find out what happened next. I loved it. This book had me laughing one minute and crying the next. The emotions are so raw and the guys are so swoon-worthy. And, oh my gosh, the puns. There are so many dumb but hysterical puns in this book, which is right up my alley in the humor department. [;

Also, I just want to point this out–the world building in this book is amazing. I’m constantly amazed by fantasy authors who create these fictitious worlds with all these different races of people. Not to mention the names of said people, the words of the spells, and the names of the places. I was super impressed and it’s clear that she put a lot of work and effort into it. I love reading a story where you can feel the passion of the author behind the words they’ve written.

I highly recommend this book. It was so good, and I’m dying to read the next one!

 

 

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four-half-stars

(ARC) Marks of the Mazza – Blake Blessing

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book is suitable for 18+ due to mature content.

I was just minding my own business, trying to win in life (while in reality just barely passing) when I discovered the existence of a secret race, who think I’m the answer to their prayers.

The Mazza, they called me. Someone who bears the marks of all four houses of this mysterious people, holding untold powers. Every time a Mazza has appeared in their history it has signaled great change. Change they so desperately need when they are on the brink of war.

Their savior. Their Messiah.

More like scale tipper for whatever side holds the Mazza. I just wish I knew what this war is about and who the players are. Everyone is out to get me, manipulate me, own me.

Navigating the minefield I just stumbled into could very well cost me my life. Good thing I stumbled into a mistaken Uber full of men of said race who I can trust to help me navigate my new normal. Or can I?

MARKS OF THE MAZZA is a full-length 70,000 word paranormal, reverse harem romance. Book one in the Mazza Series.

Marks of the Mazza by Blake Blessing
Series: The Mazza Series #1
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Paranormal, Reverse Harem
Format: ARC
four-half-stars
Goodreads

I recently had the pleasure of reading the debut novel of a brand new author.

Marks of the Mazza by Blake Blessing is a paranormal reverse harem romance filled with intrigue, mystery, supernatural politics, a fascinating cast of characters, and plenty of steam. *fans face*

At the beginning of the story, our heroine has no concept of magic or the paranormal. It isn’t until she meets the men she’s destined to be with that she starts questioning her whole life. They tell her she’s a Mazza … and if you want to know more about what that is, well, you’ll have to check out the book when it goes live next month 😉

Ms. Blessing has created a compelling world of the supernatural, along with compelling characters that draw you in and make you want to delve into their minds and learn everything there is to know about them.

I loved the story; once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down, and that’s not always the case when I receive an ARC. As it is, I can’t wait for the next book in the series, and I’ll definitely be recommending this one to anyone who’s looking for a paranormal RH and wants something other than the more popular recommendations.

Be on the lookout for another post from me when this book goes live!

 

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four-half-stars

Vibrant Awakening – Tiffany Ransier

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I’m Rose, the quiet loner girl. I’ve lived a normal life. Moving from private school to public school was never supposed to change my life this much. Being the president of a new club, finding the boy of my dreams - Trevor, making more friends than I’ve ever had in my whole life, and unfortunately my own personal bully Life was pretty ordinary until... My body starts to change. And I’m not the only one. Strange things happen to all of us People are going missing and then their bodies appear Someone is watching my friends Someone is watching me Waiting for the perfect moment to strike... Life can never go back to being normal.

*In multiple POVs*

Vibrant Awakening by Tiffany Ransier
Series: The Prismatic Order #1
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy
two-stars

When I first read the premise of this book, I was intrigued. I’ve always enjoyed the young adult genre and the added paranormal aspect seemed like it would make for a fascinating read.

Unfortunately, for me, this book totally missed the mark.

When reading the blurb, it sounds like it’s going to be predominantly narrated by Rose, a young girl (I believe all of them are around 12) who isn’t very popular and is learning how to handle a new boyfriend, being the president of the book club, and making way more friends than she thought possible, but that isn’t the case. It’s narrated by all the kids in the book club.

Now, if it were just one or two–maybe three–of Rose’s classmates who shared the narration with her, it wouldn’t be so bad. But no, it’s twenty-six different kids’ points of view that you read throughout this book. Not only did this feel exhausting to me, but it honestly just got to the point where it was confusing. I get what the author was trying to do by explaining each character’s thoughts and the newfound abilities they began to possess, but I honestly would have rather the story center around a smaller group of kids and then maybe change the points of view in the next book. I’m not sure.

Other than that, I wasn’t a huge fan of this author’s style of writing, and while there were parts of the story I found intriguing, it wasn’t enough to make me want to read the next book.

Honestly, this was a miss for me. If it sounds like something you would be interested in, then please, feel free to check it out and decide for yourself 🙂

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two-stars

Insatiable – Sariah Skye

This book is suitable for 18+ due to mature content.

My name is Ava Dawson, and life has really changed for me the past couple of months. I’m no longer alone, and no longer invisible, but that doesn’t mean everything is perfect. My father is unattainable, my magic still has a very distracting presence, and I’m once again a target for nefarious supernaturals. On top of it all, things are a little rocky in our unconventional “relationship”. I must discover secrets, heal broken hearts, discover new powers and quell the pain of jealousy. If that weren’t enough, we must search for a spell in broad daylight that can make the difference between triumph and terror for a lot of people. No pressure or anything, right? Through it all I’m trying not to crack, but it’s hard when the greed, the desire, the need for battle and lust for magic is anything but sedate; it’s positively insatiable.

(as with the rest of the series, this is a slower-to-medium burn paranormal reverse harem romance, and the heat hits a fever pitch in book three... as such, this series is recommended for adults only)

Insatiable by Sariah Skye
Series: The Curse of Avalon #3
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Paranormal, Reverse Harem
four-half-stars

**If you purchase the paperback using my link with The Book Depository, I’ll make a small commission.

Sigh. These guys. I just love them. Sariah Skye has quickly become one of my favorite authors since the first book of this series (I still have to read her other books, but no worrries…it’ll happen!).

Ava quickly turned into one of my favorite heroines of any book I’ve ever read–partly because of her snark and quick wit, but also because she has a relatable body type (for me, anyway) and is on this new journey of self-discovery and learning to love her unique abilities (that frankly, she didn’t realize she had!).

Trystan is hilarious. “Och, shite!” has become a common phrase in my household since reading the previous book and I’m always excited to see what he has to say (Another favorite: “yer bum’s oot da windae!”). Xander makes me swoon like crazy. I can’t decide if I like him or Trystan more, so #whychoose, am I right? 😉 Bash is the coolest nerd ever–and sexy to boot! And Mathias…he’s a beast of a man with the kindest, gentlest heart and you can’t help but love him.

Now, I’ve heard there were several complaints about the previous book (maybe even the first as well) regarding the “steam” factor. Apparently, there wasn’t enough “action” in the second book and several people were very unhappy, to the point of tearing the author’s hard work in two and attempting to discredit how good the actual story is.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for some steam in my romance. I enjoy reading about how much the characters love each other and their bodies, but if you don’t have a decent storyline attached to it, then I’m going to lose interest fast. That’s what I find so wonderful about these books. The first book has a ton of build up and sexual tension, while the second continues on the same path but it overflows to a nice sexy scene between her and one of her suitors. It’s mentioned that she has further relations with the others, but they aren’t “on screen.” I thought it was very well done and I was happy with the outcome. *insert shrugging emoji*

HOWEVER.

If you want to up the ante and get a whole hell of a lot of steam, then you’re not going to be disappointed with Insatiable. Holy freaking crap, it was good. I loved getting to see more of Rhys, too. He’s an annoying little turd, but he cracks me up. He certainly keeps the boys on their toes! There were also a few reveals that brought new light to the story and Ava’s gifts. There’s obviously more to the story, considering we have a new book coming in the fall, and it’s interesting trying to piece everything together as you encounter this journey with her.

I realize this probably isn’t the best review I could write, but there was so much that went on in the book–some of it things I don’t want to reveal as possible spoilers–and it’s been a few books ago, so I’m a little fuzzy and all the details. To summarize: I love this series and so far this book is my favorite. I can’t wait to see how Sariah finished out the series in the fall. I’m a devoted fan and will definitely be following her work from now on. I highly recommend this series 🙂

four-half-stars

Latest Amazon Best Sellers on Kindle in Paranormal Romance (paid & free)! — Shonda Brock Paranormal Romance Author

I’ve updated the list for the hottest new PNR books featuring dragons, shifters, vampires, and more. Click here to see the top 10 paid and free Paranormal Romance books on Amazon Kindle and share your favorites!

via Latest Amazon Best Sellers on Kindle in Paranormal Romance (paid & free)! — Shonda Brock Paranormal Romance Author

The Torment of Rachel Ames – A Novella by Jeff Gunhus

BLURB
Suffering from writer’s block, novelist Rachel Ames escapes to a lake cabin to calm her mind and regain a sense of herself. The location is perfect. Isolated. Beautiful. Inspiring. It even comes with a good-looking landlord who shows an interest in her. But she can’t shake the sense that something terrible has followed cover3d-torment-of-rachel-amesher to the lake, something just beyond her consciousness, something out on the edge where the sounds of a raging fire and sirens linger whenever she slows down to listen.
Determined to make the cabin work, she tries to settle in and give her new life a chance. But when strange things begin to happen around her, she wonders if she’s made a terrible mistake. As the darkness that’s followed her manifests itself in inexplicable ways, her concept of reality is stretched thin and she realizes nothing at the lake is what it seems.
As she fights to survive with her sanity intact, she understands too late that the location she’s chosen for herself is far from perfect.
I should begin by being completely frank: the genre this book falls under is not my preferred genre in the least. While I love thrillers in the movie genre, I tend to gravitate more toward romances in the book genre. Yes, there is an underline of romance in this novella (and yes, I am woman enough to admit that it thrilled me), the actual story is what kept me reading. In fact, once I started reading, I could not put it down.
Rachel is a tormented soul (hence the title), and the journey she begins at the lake is not only enticing and shocking, but it’s completely unnerving–and at times, downright frightening. Throughout the entire story, I was wondering right along with Rachel what secrets the cabin at the lake were hiding, and whether or not she could trust anyone. Honestly, I didn’t want to trust anyone in this story because I had no idea if I could or not! And the thing is, I absolutely loved the suspense! The whole thing played out like a movie in my mind. Gunhus has an incredible way of writing; he knows exactly how to describe each scene with an imaginative amount of detail and understanding.
This is a psychological thriller that will appeal to lovers of books of all genres–take it from the romance junkie! I cannot get this story out of my head (trust me, I mean that in a good way) and I’m dying to read the rest of his works now. I am so glad I found this novella!
I received a complimentary copy of this novella from the author for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions stated are my own.
Get your copy here!
Novella cover and blurb taken from JeffGunhus.com.

Sleepy Hollow: An Ingenius Retelling From Katrina's Point of View

To be honest with you, I have very little knowledge of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, other than that of the infamous Headless Horseman and the names Ichabod Crane and Katrina Van Tassel. I knew bits and pieces of the story, mostly from Tim Burton’s take on the story in the 1999 film Sleepy Hollow, along with the few episodes I’ve seen of Fox’s popular television show of the same name. Neither of these adaptations compare with Dax Varley’s novel, written in the first-person in Katrina Van Tassel’s POV.

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(Cover picture taken from the Sleepy Hollow Amazon page)

This is such a refreshing take on a legend that has been retold many times in many different ways. Varley brings life to a story that could be considered beaten to death, particularly shedding a new light on Katrina Van Tassel–a character on whom I had previously viewed as a spoiled socialite, intent on flirting with any man who showed her any ounce of attention, and playing the damsel-in-distress nonsense to new lengths to the point where she comes across as childish, selfish, and incredibly spoiled. While Varley’s Katrina is certainly rich and somewhat spoiled in her own right, she is certainly able to hold her own. Though she makes some questionable choices throughout the novel, her intent behind them is generally mostly pure. It is clear her relationships to her friends and family are very important to her, albeit to a fault in some circumstances. Katrina is independent, unwilling in any form to settle down, until meeting the strange and mysterious Ichabod Crane.
Ichabod Crane is the town’s newest teacher. He is highly educated and a firm believer in a new way of teaching the children, which catches the unwanted attention of the town’s council. He is everything a stodgy town set in its ways doesn’t want: energetic, eccentric, prone to trying new things, implementing a new curriculum, and a strong desire to teach the town’s slave children. He has quite an interest in the supernatural, particularly ghosts and witchcraft. Ichabod is not entirely likable to the “higher ups” of Sleepy Hollow, but he certainly catches the eye of a few young women; Katrina Van Tassel being one herself.
The events that transpire after the arrival of Ichabod Crane kept me highly intrigued. Not only was this book thrilling and at times quite mysterious, it was also quite romantic, exciting, and well-versed in the supernatural. I was actually sad for this story to end as I felt there was so much more to tell, which is probably why this is only the first book 😉 And let me tell you–I cannot wait to read the second! If you’re looking for a novel centered around romance, superstition, and the supernatural, look no further. This is a fun take on a story we’ve all heard in one way or another, and I couldn’t be more impressed with Dax Varley 🙂 I am definitely a new fan, and I will be reading more of her writings!
I received this book from the author in exchange for my unbiased and honest review.
Click here to get your copy!
GoodReads
Author’s GoodReads Page
Sleepy Hollow. Dir. Tim Burton. Perf. Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, and Miranda Richardson. Paramount, 1999. IMDB. Web. 2 November 2015.
Sleepy Hollow airs Thursdays on Fox.

The Darkest Frost, Pt. 2

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(Please keep in mind that this is the SEQUEL to The Darkest Frost, so if you haven’t read that, go BACK and READ IT NOW. Go ahead. I’ll wait…)
Okay, did you read the first book? Good. Now grab a cup of coffee and settle in… 😉
Wow. After finishing the second (and final) installment of The Darkest Frost, I am breathless. These books are the exact storyline I didn’t know I needed; there is mystery, romance, suspense–all centered around a paranormal universe the author carefully constructed and made not only extremely fascinating, but also highly believable.
While I absolutely love the paranormal romance genre and have read many, I have never read one quite like this. The main storyline is so unique and entertaining, I found myself glued to the words, eagerly awaiting what would happen next! This book (as well as its first part) is also filled to the brim with excitement and twists and turns around every corner. I found myself thinking I had it figured out one page, and by the next I had no idea what to think until the truth was finally revealed. I wasn’t sure who to trust, whether or not the characters were truly authentic, or if I was merely being paranoid 🙂
This book is not for the faint of heart, and I loved being able to continue guessing all throughout! Not to mention, the men are sexy as hell, the intimate scenes are incredibly hot, and the heroine of the story is so likable and bada** at the same time, you can’t help but love her!
So, if you’re looking for a paranormal romance unlike anything else you’ve read, filled with humor, twists, hot love scenes, a bada** heroine, mystery and intrigue…look no further!
I received an ARC of this book from the author for my unbiased and honest review.
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Mysterious, steamy and captivating. THE DARKEST FROST, Vol 2 by Tanya Holmes is now LIVE! Don’t miss out on the amazing conclusion to this epic Gothic Romance. Grab your copy today! 
⇉ Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1U3jFgS
⇉ Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1MlxJOy
⇉ Paperbacks: https://www.createspace.com/5672986