Ravenite – Alicia Rades

I received an advanced/review copy of this book. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content and honesty of my review.

Ravenite – Alicia Rades

Eight years ago, the first vampire escaped from his supernatural prison, unleashing magic into the world.

I'm Rachel Collins, low witch and raven shifter in hiding. At age eighteen, I spend my days tending the cash register at a local magic shop and my nights patrolling the streets for vampires with a death wish. Until the night I spot the mark of the Soulless on some lowly vampire's wrist.

The Soulless answer to Valkas, the original vampire and the most ruthless of them all. They’re the same bastards who murdered my parents and kidnapped my sister. I want answers—and maybe a little revenge.

Along comes Venn, a sweet, handsome wolf shifter who takes my breath away. We're both after the same guy, and as much as it kills me to ask for help, I kind of need it.

Heaven help me. I've just started down a dark, dangerous road that will either free my sister or get me killed.

Ravenite by Alicia Rades
Series: Vengeance and Vampires #1
four-stars
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Format: ARC

This was such an engrossing read for me. It had just enough depth that made it interesting, and the heroine was quippy and sardonic, which is just how I like them 😉

Rachel Collins is a low-level witch on a mission to find and save her sister from the vampires who murdered her parents. While she’s interrogating a vampire one day, her path crosses that of a very handsome and surprisingly kind wolf shifter named Venn. It turns out he and his friends are also looking for someone connected to the vampires and Venn agrees to help Rachel–nicknamed Rae–find her sister, but to get to the point where they can go looking for Rae’s sister, they first have to retrieve something in relation to Venn’s missing friend.

As they work together, Venn and Rae can’t deny their growing attraction to each other or the way they feel pulled to be together. Rae is also finding an unlikely home amidst these ragtag bunch of misfits, and for someone who has depended solely on herself for a long time, the idea of having a family to rely on is not only intimidating but can also feel quite terrifying.

Ravenite was a fun read. Once I started reading, I felt like I couldn’t stop, and I absolutely loved the chemistry and tension between Rae and Venn. They were like two magnets drawn to each other by an unseen force. Rae fought against it out of fear of getting hurt and/or hurting him by being involved in such dangerous territories, but no matter how hard either one resisted, they just kept coming back to the other.

There was a nice flow to the story and plenty of action to keep me glued to the pages. I also enjoyed each character individually, which is somewhat of a feat in itself considering I almost always have that one character that drives me nuts–but I felt like each character was an interesting contribution to the group’s dynamic. All the different shifters were fun to read about, too. It isn’t the first time I’ve read about them, but it’s still nice to get something a little different here and there.

All in all, I enjoyed this one. It ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, so I’m anxious and excited to sink my teeth into the next one (see what I did there?). If you’re a fan of the young adult and paranormal genres, give this one a shot! Coming out on the 25th of this month 🙂

 

 

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four-stars

Allison’s Adventures in Underland – C. M. Stunich

This book is suitable for 18+ due to mature content.
Allison’s Adventures in Underland – C. M. Stunich

Um. Um. Um. Are you reading this? If you are, I need your help.

I was at a party; I was running; I fell. And get this—this is the part you'll never believe—I fell down a rabbit hole. Like Alice in those old books.

Except in those books, there wasn't blood everywhere. In those books, the characters weren't all male, attractive, and interested in me. Forget everything you know about the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, the March Hare …

This isn't Wonderland; this is Underland. Violence, sex, drugs, and magic … that's all there is in this place. There's me, Allison, and there are the men that want me, the enemies that hunt me, and the darkness that's quickly rolling in.

And only I can stop it. So if you're reading this, will you help me? Please. I just want to escape this place and go … home.

ALLISON'S ADVENTURES IN UNDERLAND (Book 1 of 3 in the "Harem of Hearts" series) -- is a full-length reverse harem/new adult/dark romance novel, a gritty retelling of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". Don't expect a children's tale; these characters are nothing like their more innocent counterparts. This book contains: drugs, cursing, violence, sex ... and love found in the darkest shadows.

Allison's Adventures in Underland by C.M. Stunich
Series: Harem of Hearts #1
four-half-stars
Genres: Dark, Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal, Reverse Harem, Romance
Pages: 320
Format: eBook

This is one of the weirdest books I’ve ever read in the best way possible. I enjoyed the heck out of it. I’ve been hearing about this story for a while (considering it’s been out since last year) and just didn’t get to reading it until recently. Honestly, I wish I had read it earlier just so I could’ve gotten in on the hype sooner, but then again, would I have blogged about it at that point? Possibly not. And this is definitely a good one to blog about.

I’ve always been a big Alice in Wonderland fan, and that includes several of its many adaptations. I’m also a huuuge fan of C.M. Stunich. In fact, her Rock Hard Beautiful series was my first ever reverse harem read, and in my opinion, she pretty much sets the bar for a good reverse harem story. So, with that said, here’re my thoughts on Allison’s Adventures in Underland 

First off, Allison is a snarky, sarcastic, somewhat tomboyish young adult who I immediately related to. I may not be quite as outspoken, but I definitely found a bit of a kindred spirit in Allison, lol. Part of what I loved about her is that she questions things that normal heroines readily accept in most romance novels. She’s not a pushover and just because she’s told something is acceptable doesn’t mean she’s on board with it, and no one is making her do something she doesn’t want to do. Also, she’s constantly wondering what Dee is talking about, which are some of the funniest interactions in this story. Case in point:

“That’s the problem with assumptions,” Dee says, whistling as he starts off down the path. “They make an ass out of you and shins—two of which we all have.” He pauses for a second before turning around to look at me. “Unless of course you’re an amputee which then you could have one shin or none shin and then the only person that’s an ass is you.” I just stare at him because, like, what the fuck is he saying?

Allison discovers she’s the Alice–something pertaining to a prophecy that you either believe or you don’t, though considering she actually makes it to Underland (formally Wonderland), then you better start believing. In short, the Alice is supposed to save Underland and restore it to its former glory. Where Wonderland was bright and beautiful, Underland is dark and full of drugs, sex, backstabbing, and murder. This certainly isn’t a book for the faint of heart, and the characters are definitely not the ones we all grew up with.

There are assassins, a shapeshifting jabbberwock, a shapeshifting bandersnatch, a perpetually high butterfly, and many other odd characters that take the originals and twist them into some very intriguing concepts.

I don’t want to say too much about this book because I essentially went in blind and I feel like that’s probably the best way to read it. There were so many clever twists added to this story, as well as some great sexual tension and chemistry. So far, Tee and Dee are my favorites, but I’m excited to get to know the other characters more in the next book (due out this year! Yay!).

Just like most of her other novels, I adored this book. It’s different and it’s raw and gritty and definitely won’t be liked by everyone, but if you have a bit of an open mind and aren’t afraid to try something new, give this strange story a shot. You just might enjoy it!

 

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four-half-stars

The Confectioner’s Guild – Claire Luana

I received an advanced/review copy of this book. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content and honesty of my review.

The Confectioner’s Guild – Claire Luana

A magic cupcake. A culinary killer. The perfect recipe for murder.
Wren knew her sweet treats could work wonders, but she never knew they could work magic. She barely has time to wrap her head around the stunning revelation when the head of the prestigious Confectioner’s Guild falls down dead before her. Poisoned by her cupcake.

Now facing murder charges in a magical world she doesn’t understand, Wren must discover who framed her or face the headsman’s axe. With the help of a handsome inspector and several new friends, Wren just might manage to learn the ropes, master her new powers, and find out who framed her. But when their search for clues leads to a deep-rooted conspiracy that goes all the way to the top, she realizes that the guild master isn’t the only one at risk of death by chocolate.

If Wren can’t bring the powerful culprit to justice, she and her friends will meet a bittersweet end.

The Confectioner’s Guild is a delicious YA fantasy mystery. If you like spunky chefs and twisty mysteries with a drizzle of romance, then you’ll love Claire Luana’s scrumptious tale that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Buy The Confectioner’s Guild to conquer your cravings with a magical mystery today!

The Confectioner's Guild by Claire Luana
Series: The Confectioner Chronicles #1
five-stars
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 395
Format: ARC
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Let me just preface this by saying, as a teenager, young adult fantasy was my jam. J. K. Rowling, Holly Black, Stephenie Meyer, Cornelia Funke, Libba Bray (and so on and so forth) … if the book said it was fantasy, I snatched it up and read it–usually in one sitting.

Thing is, though; I never grew out of my love of young adult fantasy. Add a bit of romance in there, and that’s just a bonus. So when the opportunity to review this book by an author I hadn’t read before, I knew I wanted to expand my horizons, so to speak, and take a chance on her. The things I noticed first were the cover and the title–I mean, seriously, The Confectioner’s Guild? If you’re a fan of fantasy and that title doesn’t intrigue you, either you’re lying to yourself or just don’t want to take a chance on a unique story–and then there’s that blurb. My little inner fifteen-year-old self jumped for joy.

The last young adult fantasy I read a review copy for didn’t work out so well (for me), so I had slight trepidation, but I just couldn’t pass up a story that sounded so unlike anything I had ever read before.

So, without further adieu …

This book starts right out with the action. I think it’s just the second chapter when Wren is accused of murdering the guild master–whom she just met mere minutes prior–or maybe it was the third. In any event, Wren is working in a bakery at the book’s opening when in walks the surly right-hand man to the guild master, taking her away to the guild where she learns that magic is not only real, but she has a powerful form of it that manifests in her baking.

Wren is left reeling in a state of shock. She explores her new living quarters, then decides to go back to the guild master to try to talk a little more about her abilities and everything that’s entailed, only to find him foaming at the mouth and choking. Several men surround him, attempting to help him, but it’s of no use; he dies with Wren watching in horror. Immediately, fingers are pointed at her as the killer–after all, it was her cupcake he had last eaten before he died–and until proven innocent, she is viewed as 100% guilty. This makes her life at the guild hall absolutely miserable and she’s filled with a renewed sense of urgency to prove her innocence.

So enter a few new friends who believe her plight and vow to help her, along with the handsome inquisitor who vouches for her innocence, and they begin their own investigation.

I tell you what–this book had me guessing right up to the very end. Right when you think you know without a doubt who the killer is, the evidence points in another direction. There was a nice balance of mystery and romance, as well as just being a wholesome coming of age story where you’re rooting for the heroine every step of the way. Wren is strong and clever and watching her character grow throughout the book was so fun.

Those authors I mentioned at the beginning of my post? Ms. Luana has fully cemented herself in that group, as far as I’m concerned. I was glued to this book in a way I haven’t been with any other young adult fantasy in a very long time. I absolutely cannot wait for the next book in this series!

If you’re a fan of young adult and fantasy, do yourself a favor and read this book when it comes out in October. You won’t regret it. 🙂

 

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five-stars

Rock F*ck Club 3 – Michelle Mankin

I received an advanced/review copy of this book. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content and honesty of my review.

This book is suitable for 18+ due to mature content.
Rock F*ck Club 3 – Michelle Mankin

The Gods of Rock Tour.
4 summer concert venues. 10 famous rock stars to f*ck.
Two at a time. Maybe even three.
I know what I like and how to get it.
I’m Marsha West. Raven Winter’s best friend. A sidekick no longer, I’m in the starring role.
I’m going to f*ck whoever I want. However I want. Whenever I want. I have my reasons for being the way I am and doing the things I do. I’ve warned WMO they might have to stretch the rules to keep their TV-MA rating for me.
It’s Rock F*ck Club. Season Two.
What could go wrong?

Rock F*ck Club 3 by Michelle Mankin
Series: Rock F*ck Club #3
four-stars
Genres: Romance, New Adult
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

 

Whew, man.

This one was hard to read, I’m not gonna lie. If you think Raven’s book was angsty, it ain’t nothin’ compared to Marsha’s.

Also, my first impression of Marsha was way off and somewhat unfair. I’ll be honest with you; I didn’t much care for her character in the first book. I loved the friendship she and Raven shared, but other than that, I didn’t really care much for her. She was too reckless, too much of a party girl, and she hooked up with more guys than Raven did. I just didn’t care for her personality type. So when I realized this was her story, to say I felt a little apprehensive to read it is quite the understatement. Honestly, I kind of dreaded reading it, even while I was reading the first few chapters. Her personality just grated on me and I didn’t expect to feel anything else.

Hoo boy, was I in for a treat!

The turning point for me came when View Spoiler »

(For those who don’t want a spoiler: basically, she and Raven get into a fight that lasts for pretty much the entirety of the book. Marsha finds herself alone and without the solid presence of her best friend. She’s mourning Raven’s absence and attempting to deal with other issues that she hasn’t gotten over yet, and as a result, she makes a few bad choices and begins to question pretty much every decision she makes. I’m not describing this well, but hopefully, you get the idea.)

I was so unbelievably annoyed with Raven–something I never thought I would say–and felt terrible for Marsha. Here’s the thing–Marsha does screw up. She isn’t perfect by any means, but she’s also not 100% to blame for all of these mistakes either. And I’m not saying she didn’t deserve a little slap in the face to wake up and stop drowning her sorrows in alcohol, but I do think Raven did her a little dirty and should have at least attempted to communicate with her before deciding to practically write her off.

Anyway. Kudos to Michelle Mankin for bringing this couple together. I didn’t see Ivan and Marsha reuniting at all. Marsha seemed to hate him, and really, the feelings seemed mutual–until the whole truth starts coming out. Their beginning was heartbreaking. They were over before they could even begin, and then he started dating Marsha’s best friend. He knew their relationship was wrong, but he stayed because Raven was hurting after her brother’s death and he didn’t feel like it would be right to break up with her on top of that.

I was beyond shocked to discover the feelings Ivan had been harboring for Marsha. And even though she didn’t want to admit it, the feelings Marsha had for Ivan were nowhere near dormant. She’s inexplicably drawn to him, but she feels like she can’t make a move because of Raven and the RFC. She’s contractually obligated to have sex with ten rock stars and she knows Raven would be hurt if they were together. What is she supposed to do?

This doesn’t stop Ivan, however. He relentlessly pursues her all throughout the book. She’s bullheaded and doesn’t make it easy, but when they’re together, their relationship is so sensual and easygoing, it’s easy to root for this couple–despite their past together and his past with her best friend. It’s clear they love each other and it’s frustrating when you can see it but they’re just so hardheaded about putting labels on anything–especially Marsha.

Honestly? I liked this book better than the first one, and no one is more surprised about that admission than I am. I thought for sure I wouldn’t much care for Marsha, but the more I got to know her, the more I understand her personality and why she makes the choices she does. I empathized with her and felt a connection with her, despite never having gone through what she has.

I also loved the addition of Barbara. She’s such a cool person and I love the friendship she and Mars develop. I’m hoping we’re going to see some more of her in the future 🙂

OH, and how could I forget?! I’m dying for more interaction between Rocky and Sky. Their chemistry is just explosive and with her unique personality, I think they would make such an amazing couple. It’s clear they’re in love with each other; they’re just too damn stubborn to do anything about it. I’m crossing my fingers for those two!

In my opinion, this is the best book of the series so far and I’m excited for the next one to come out 🙂 If you end up reading these books, please let me know! I would love to hear what you think.

My review for book one: Rock F*ck Club

My review for book two: Rock F*ck Club 2

 

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four-stars

Rock F*ck Club 2 – Michelle Mankin

I received an advanced/review copy of this book. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content and honesty of my review.

This book is suitable for 18+ due to mature content.
Rock F*ck Club 2 – Michelle Mankin

A Postseason One Novella 10 cities. 10 famous rock stars f*cked. Raven Winters has chosen the one rock star she wants to keep. She has completed filming for the Rock F*ck Club. Her season of the reality show is about to debut on the World Media Organization channel. Her once very private sex life is about to become public. Can her life ever return to normal? Does she want it to? And what about the next season of RFC? Who will be the next star? Who will be f*cking whom?

Rock F*ck Club 2 by Michelle Mankin
Series: Rock F*ck Club #2
four-half-stars
Genres: Romance, New Adult

*happy sigh*

Lucky and Raven are one of my favorite book couples I’ve ever read about. If you recall my review for the first book, you’ll know that I struggled with the concept of this story.

HOWEVER.

Lucky made it all worth it for me. Again, if you read my review for the first book you’ll know I absolutely adore Lucky. He’s so dang sweet to Raven, albeit a bit overprotective.

The main issue I had in this novella was that Lucky completely took away Raven’s choice for continuing to accompany his band on the tour. It was a decision that should have been made between the couple, rather than just decided by one half. This is something he comes to terms with on his own, but in what I’m discovering is true Michelle Mankin fashion, there’s gotta be a little bit of that angst first. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the angst as long as I end up getting my happy ending, and I felt like this was a nice conclusion to the epic love of Raven and Lucky. <3

I’m so happy Michelle included this little epilogue story. In many ways, I preferred it to the first book–but of course, you can’t read this one without having read the first.

Anyway, I was quite pleased with the way this novella ended up. It also had a nice way of segueing into the next book, which I found clever. I definitely recommend 🙂

 

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four-half-stars

RELEASE DAY: Royal and Reckless Anthology

TEASER

After wiping down the center table in front of the television and the bar and every counter space where I saw dust, I made my way to the dining area and still had an hour to spare.
My hands fell at my hips, and I admired the gleam of the dining room table, the sunlight from the windows hitting the glass. After I grabbed my cleaning supplies I made my way to his bedroom.
It felt forbidden and exhilarating all at once to be in his secret chambers. Only a few people, a very select few—Megan included—had ever been in here, and now here I was.
His four-post bed was massive and took half the space of his bedroom. I pulled the sheets off the bed, and a used condom was flung in my direction. It almost hit me square in the shoulder, but I dodged it, and it landed on the ground.
Eek!
“What the hell? Gross.” I reached for it, glad that my latex glove was between me and his royal sperm.
Megan had told me stories of what she’d found in his room—lube, lingerie, used condoms. I double-dared her to steal them, but she was too afraid. Not that I blamed her. I wouldn’t risk the livelihood of my family and future for a good laugh.
Black thongs had been left on the mattress, and I threw them in the laundry bag, trying not to gag.
Prince Bash had a reputation. He was the pristine prince, the future of Itasca. The people and parliament believed it. One day, he would be king, and he’d produce beautiful babies with the sucker woman who would marry him.
But everyone in the castle knew the truth. Within the castle walls, people huddled and whispered and gossiped. Prince Bash, unknown to the rest of the world was a spoiled, messy, manwhore. He got what he wanted, did what he wanted, whenever he wanted.
The castle servants feared him. Maybe even his parents. They’d raised him to be a monster, gave him practically everything he ever wanted since he was out of the womb. They catered to him, and because of that, good-looking or not, I despised him. He was exactly who my father was—the spoiled, entitled bastard that had abandoned us.
I was humming a Rihanna song, smoothing out the bed, when I froze as the door slammed shut behind me.
I blinked, stunned into a stoic stupor.
My breathing accelerated as heavy footsteps padded through the suite.
If I was fast enough, I could have hidden.
Then a husky voice spoke. “So, I see you’re ready for me?”
The color drained from my face.
I turned around.
It was the prince himself—Prince Bash.

 

Get Maid for Royalty, part of the Royal and Reckless anthology, today!

BUY LINKS
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/royal-and-reckless
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/royal-and-reckless/id1367714954
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/royal-and-reckless-terry-keys/1128368809
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Royal-Reckless-Terry-Keys-ebook/dp/B07DKVQPF4/

Congratulations, Mia Kayla!!

RELEASE DAY: Marks of the Mazza – Blake Blessing

Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Reverse Harem, Romance

BLURB

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.

Click here to read my review of Marks of the Mazza 🙂

Congratulations, Blake Blessing!!!

 

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RELEASE DAY: Prosecco & Peonies – SJ McCoy

 

!!!NEW RELEASE!!! Prosecco and Peonies

A sweet and steamy second chance romance from SJ McCoy.

Marcos and Molly were high school sweethearts; that couple who everyone—including Molly—thought would get married, have babies, and live happily ever after. It didn’t work out that way, though. Marcos returned to Sicily to run his family winery. Molly stayed in Napa to run her family restaurant.

Molly’s done well for herself, the restaurant is thriving, she has great friends and a good life. She never got over Marcos, but he made his choice and they both had to live with it.

Marcos didn’t do so well for himself. He thought he needed to build his family legacy, but his marriage was a sham and he’s never been happy since he left Molly. He’s grown and changed and he wants the chance to make things right with her, but Molly isn’t sure she’s prepared to take that risk again.

Can the boy who broke her heart be the man who makes all her dreams come true?

#Sweetnsteamy #newrelease #oneclick #mustread

iBooks: http://bit.ly/PnPApplR

B&N: http://bit.ly/PnPBnNA

Congratulations, SJ McCoy!!

Sunshine and Bullets – CoraLee June

This book is suitable for 18+ due to mature content.
Sunshine and Bullets – CoraLee June

Sunshine.

It’s a nickname I haven’t heard since I lived on Woodbury Lane, where the houses were pretty but the secrets? Deadly. It was a pet name known only to the Bullets. Rough, violent, and ruthless, they laid claim to the town — and my heart.

I wasn't supposed to fall for a boy from the wrong side of the tracks—especially not four of them. But they were the only ones who understood that sometimes hell hides in plain sight.

I was the girl with all the conveniences a privileged upbringing could provide. The world only saw two loving parents and a pristine home life, but I knew the truth. And it was going to get me killed. So, I disappeared, from everyone and everything I’d ever known. I changed my name and my appearance, but the scars I carry, they’re still the same.

The Bullets are all grown up now, too — a crime boss, a pro fighter, a bounty hunter, and a federal agent. Life took them in different directions, but they once shared the bonds of a brotherhood forged under the harshest conditions. Together they were fearless. Brutal. Unstoppable.

I'm praying they can find that unity again. If I'm going to survive this, it'll take everything they have. Because that's the thing about running from the past.

Eventually, it catches up to you.

Sunshine and Bullets by CoraLee June
Series: The Bullets #1
five-stars
Genres: Romance, Dark, New Adult, Reverse Harem
Pages: 297

You know those books that get under your skin in such a way that you swear you can feel the words etching themselves on your soul? That’s how I feel after reading Sunshine and Bullets.

This was one of the most intense stories I’ve had the pleasure of reading. It was devastating and heartbreaking and sexy and so deliciously angsty, I couldn’t put it down.

Summer–AKA Sunshine–is inexplicably drawn to The Bullets; a group of three tight-knit guys who are from the wrong side of the tracks. Gavriel, Blaise, and Ryker all love her in their own way and do everything in their power to protect her while they’re together. Then there’s Callum–the sexy young cop who’s working for her dad. He’s five years older than her and the other guys and he vows he’ll wait for her.

Sunshine loves them all and can’t bring herself to choose just one of them. When something major happens that makes her feel like she has no other choice, she runs without a backward glance. Five years of radio silence later, they find her. But the men they are now? They’re so different from the boys she once knew. They’re harder, rougher, more damaged and broken. Without her, their bond has been frail at best, and when she reenters their lives, they’re terrified she’ll bolt again–even if some of them *cough*Ryker*cough* are too stubborn to show it.

Emotions run high and hormones run rampant among the five. Sunshine is honest in her desire for all four men, and while most are desperate to make the unconventional relationship work, Callum needs a little convincing. He’s always played by the rules and The Bullets do anything but. Gavriel is quick to take control of the situation, and–well, you’ll have to read to find out. 😉

Sunshine has been through hell and back in the five years she’s been away from her guys. To say her life has been rough is an understatement. Gavriel promises to protect her–for a price–and she has to learn to trust again after being alone for so long. The transition isn’t an easy one, and it takes her some time to finally feel as if she can open up and tell the guys the truth; the reason why she left them and never looked back. And let me tell you; it’s a pretty damn good reason. No matter how much you want to hate her for taking off without any explanation, you have to admit that as a young seventeen-year-old girl, she was scared and felt she had no choice. I can’t say I would have done any differently than she had.

While this is definitely a dark book, the characters are written so well. You can’t help but fall in love with each of them for different reasons. And Sunshine is written beautifully–she’s a perfect mixture of strength wrapped up in fragility. Her reactions and what I can only describe as PTSD symptoms were so honest and believable without being over-the-top.

 

If dark romance is your thing and you’re okay with multiple love interests, then you definitely need to check this book out! I’m going to be [not-so] patiently awaiting the next novel, on pins and needles to discover what happens next. Five stars for this baby.

 

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five-stars

Bane of Dragons – Clara Hartley

I received an advanced/review copy of this book. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content and honesty 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
four-half-stars
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Reverse Harem, Fantasy
Pages: 330

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