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

REVIEW: The Demon’s Possession

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A love that spans the edges of the universe…

Trapped on the battleship Extarga by a tyrant, Analia is alone. For all she knows she is the last of her kind. With no memory of life before captivity, her mysterious gift is the only indication of who her people are, but she has given up hope of ever returning to them…

Until one fateful evening, she escapes and stows away on the merchant ship Marada, planning to depart at the very next stop and finally claim her freedom. Unfortunately for her, there is no next stop. The crew is planning a delivery that could take months with no way off the ship until the package is delivered.

When Analia is discovered by the fearsome demon captain, Sebastian, she must adapt to her new role on the ship and learn to master her powers…while contending with her freshly awakened desire for the brutally handsome demon.

Can she handle a demon’s passion?

This is the first book of this author’s that I’ve read, but I can guarantee it won’t be my last. Up until about three months or so ago, I steered clear from anything that had “sci-fi” in the description because it wasn’t my “thing”–or at least, I thought it wasn’t–but I took a chance on a Ruby Dixon novel and I’ve been devouring any sci-fi romance I could find since. When the opportunity arose to get a copy of this book to read, I jumped on it. I’m so glad I did.

Analia has spent her entire life in captivity being abused and misused by her captor. She doesn’t remember being shown any kindness in all her life and when the opportunity arises to escape, she jumps at it. Little does she realize, her life is about to change tremendously.

She stows away on a merchant ship with the hopes of escaping her terrible life. Once on board, while she’s hiding pretty much in plain sight, she discovers that the Marada has no intention of stopping–not for several months, at least. Hungry, scared, feeling alone but determined, Analia decides she would rather face certain death than return to her evil captor. Once her decision has been firmly made, she lies in wait–either for freedom or for death. When she finds herself face to face with the captain of the ship she’s taken refuge on, she discovers feelings she’s never had before … but will he prove to be just as bad as the other men she’s come into contact with before?

Sebastian is a demon–and in this book, it’s meant literally. He’s one of just a few survivors of his race and he’s become bitter and jaded from past experience and the treatment he’s received throughout his lifetime. Demons are viewed as volatile, despicable, vile beings who are treated as the monsters others claim they are.

Sebastian also refuses to fall in love. He’s seen exactly what loving and being mated to someone has done to his brother, who is nothing but a shell of who he once was after being betrayed by his own mate. Sebastian has no desire to be hurt in the same way; it was bad enough feeling his own betrayal with someone he wasn’t in love with. 

Everything changes when Sebastian first lays eyes on Analia. Though she’s dirty and smelly and can barely keep her eyes open, Sebastian is inexplicably drawn to her. The feeling is mutual and Analia doesn’t know what to do with these newfound emotions and physical stirrings. To say they drive each other crazy is quite the understatement–in more ways than one.

Without giving too much away, their relationship progresses and I greatly enjoyed the way Ms. Fay developed these characters and their emotions. They don’t fall for each other overnight and the tension that’s felt throughout the story is so beautifully written; I could feel the emotions these characters were dealing with as I read every page. I’m normally pretty strict about reading books that are the first person POV, but it honestly didn’t matter for me when reading this book because it was just that good.

This story was full of passion, romance, a determined and goal-oriented heroine, an alpha male, and it even had some humor thrown in for good measure. I enjoyed it and will more than likely be reading the rest of the series as I’m dying to know what happens with the other characters 🙂

I will say, though, if you have any triggers, be aware that there are some slightly graphic details about abuse in this story that could potentially be upsetting.

If this book sounds like your thing, I highly recommend it!

Add it to your Goodreads here 🙂

Waiting on Faith – Nicole Richard

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She’s a woman running from her past.
He’s a man with a fractured heart.
Natalie Brentwood is determined to
escape a life of betrayal and abuse. She vows to live
the life she knows she deserves, despite the one
she’s endured.
Cy Davis is no stranger to lies and deceit.
He’s harbored a ten-year grudge that could quite
possibly ruin his chances with a woman who blindly
captured his heart.
But when two people are brought together by fate,
can they be the light that the other needs? Or will a secret
and past insecurity be a test of their love and faith.
A story of love and hate and the depths one will go to bury
heartbreak that runs deep.
(Picture and blurb taken from GoodReads)
Wow.
To say this book gutted me could be quite an understatement. Nicole is a new author to me, but after reading Waiting on Faith, she has become a new favorite.
This book is angsty, heart wrenching, and full of truth and honesty. One of my favorite things about this book was how it showed the hero’s insecurities. Usually the books only delve into the heroine’s insecurities while the hero is nothing but strong and masculine, but this book shows the hero’s problems with insecurities and how he battles them every day of his life while still being the macho man. I’m not sure how she did it, but Nicole managed to give him a layer of insecurity without making him appear weak, which can be quite the feat. Cy didn’t come across as whiny or trying to overcompensate, he just is what he is. He’s battling his demons while still managing to be the man that Natalie needs. Sure, they go through their rough patches, but I think those rough patches were necessary for their relationship.
Okay, I’m going to stop before I give too much away 🙂 Please, just trust me when I say this book is fantastic. If you’re looking for a romance with a slightly different hero/heroine relationship than what you will normally find, then look no further! And make sure you come back and let me know what you think 😉
Original review here.
Buy the book here!

Ocean by Jo Raven

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I thought I was a normal kid once. Do normal kids have to beg from door to door for food? Not sure. It wasn’t always that bad, I guess – and then it was. Really f***ing bad.
I tried to protect my younger brother from the fallout. Lied to him about how bad things were.
But it wasn’t enough. And when the accident happened, he blamed me, like everyone else.
I’m guilty of many things. He’s right about that, at least. So d**n guilty I’m sure everyone knows and will call me out on it.
Except they don’t. Nobody does, except my brother.
Not even Kayla, sexy and sweet and coolest girl ever, who keeps buying me coffee and trying to read my future. But my future isn’t in the g*****n cards, or even in my hands. I don’t see a future. I deny fate, but fate has me pinned like a moth and won’t let me walk away.
Won’t let me escape.
And yeah… you know you’re losing grip when the girl you want reads your palm and you’re scared to hell of what she’ll see and of the pain you can tell is coming.
**WARNING** This book is NOT for the faint of heart. If you have issues reading about abuse (physical or mental), then please DO NOT read this book. 18+ for sexual content, language and violence.

(Photo and description from the GoodReads page)
I’m a huge fan of Jo Raven’s. She is one of those authors I one-click immediately, even before reading the premise of the book, just because I can almost guarantee I’ll like it since she’s the one who wrote it. I certainly wasn’t disappointed in this book. I’ve been following the lives of the Inked Brotherhood and Damage Boyz for quite some time now and feel pretty invested in these characters, and Ocean has always been a mystery. There was always something beneath the surface that had me scratching my head in wonderment. Thankfully, we get some answers in Ocean that explain more than I expected.
Per the very apt title of Damage Boyz, Ocean is very notably damaged like the rest of his “brothers” in his workplace. Thinking he is someone unworthy of love, Ocean spends his time wallowing in guilt and self-hatred. He works hard to help his undeserving mother get through her sickness, and he is desperately trying to piece his relationship with his brother, Raine, back together.
Kayla is a unique soul following the sound of a drum only she can hear. She loves fashion and colors, and is very into tarot cards and the answers she hopes to find in them. Kayla doesn’t believe love exists. She’s spent all her life watching her parents go through a loveless marriage and she doesn’t want to end up like them, so rather than take a chance and try, she has stayed away from relationships altogether. That is, until she meets Ocean. There’s just something about him that makes her want to delve beneath the surface and get to know who he is underneath his fun-loving and tattooed exterior.
The two watch each other from afar for some time before one night when Ocean takes Kayla home after having too much to drink and sparks start to fly. Next comes a tumultuous relationship with more ups and downs than a roller coaster. When they realize they’re falling in love with each other, they have a choice to make: stay where it’s safe, but live a sad and lonely life, or risk having their hearts broken, but possibly have the love they’ve always desired.
Ocean is a beautifully flawed love story that will tear at your heart and leave you breathless and rooting for these two people who you can’t help but love. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the romance/new adult genre with a bit of edge. And if you do read it, be sure to tell me what you think 🙂
Get your copy here!

Stuck-Up Suit – Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward

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It started out like any other morning on the train.
Until I became mesmerized by the guy sitting across the aisle.
He was barking at someone on his phone like he ruled the world.
Who did the stuck-up suit think he was…God?
Actually, he looked like a God. That was about it.
When his stop came, he got up suddenly and left. So suddenly, he dropped his phone on the way out.
I might have picked it up.
I might have gone through all of his photos and called some of the numbers.
I might have held onto the mystery man’s phone for days―until I finally conjured up the courage to return it.
When I traipsed my ass across town to his fancy company, he refused to see me.
So, I left the phone on the empty desk outside the arrogant jerk’s office.
I might have also left behind a dirty picture on it first though.
I didn’t expect him to text back.
I didn’t expect our exchanges to be hot as hell.
I didn’t expect to fall for him―all before we even met.
The two of us couldn’t have been any more different.
Yet, you know what they say about opposites.
When we finally came face to face, we found out opposites sometimes do more than attract―we consumed each other.
Nothing could have prepared me for the ride he took me on. And I certainly wasn’t prepared for where I’d wind up when the ride was over.
All good things must come to an end, right?
Except our ending was one I didn’t see coming.
After reading RoomHate by Penelope Ward (see my review here!), I became a quick fan, so I pretty much knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had to read this book. I wasn’t disappointed in the least. I have yet to read one of Vi Keeland’s novels, but the two authors accomplished writing together with ease. The story flows evenly and it immediately drew me in; the switch off was performed so flawlessly, you can’t even tell it’s written by two different authors.
The story itself is pretty much every romance fan’s dream: rich man falls in love with a normal, slightly quirky woman who keeps him honest and constantly on his toes. Graham goes from being a complete a**hole to a lovable, actually sweet individual who is completely head over heels for Soraya. I didn’t care for Graham much at all when he is first introduced in the story (somewhat resembles Christian Grey), but you cannot help but fall in love with him as their story continues and his true character is revealed.
After some phone tag, their first in person meeting is an explosion of sensuality and passion. Their whirlwind romance continues to ignite and the way they handle each other is beautifully written. There is a huge plot twist I didn’t see coming, which was a great addition to an already fantastic book, and it’s interesting to see how Graham and Soraya handle this new development.
If you’re a fan of romance, stuck-up rich alpha men, and women who follow the beat of a different drummer, then you should definitely check this book out! 🙂
Get your copy here!

S.O.B.

SOB Blitz Banner
I’ll be honest with you: the idea of a stepbrother romance really wigged me out. I love J. C. Valentine’s books, though, so I decided to give it a chance. I’m really glad I did. This book is nothing like how I initially perceived it; the main characters never grew up together, they had a very strong connection when they met as older teenagers (both were legal adults), and then their parents got married. There were several years between the day their parents got married and when they met up again when Vista–a physical therapist–comes to help Levi out, who had been injured in a soccer game. And when she gets there, the spark was most DEFINITELY still apparent.
SOB Teaser 2Levi Black is–in my opinion–all things drool-worthy: tall, dark hair, bearded, tattooed…oh, yeah! His cockiness is a bit off-putting at first, but once you peel back a bit of those layers, you see an incredible man with a beautiful heart. If that doesn’t get you a little weak in the knees, then maybe you need to check your pulse! I mean, really. The model guy over to your left here? Look at that beard. Mmm, mmm. 😉
SOB4This really was a very lovely story. I didn’t expect to love this novel as much as I did, and I can guarantee you wholeheartedly that I will be rereading it several times until I am satisfied. There were a few moments I didn’t see coming, and there were scenarios that had me in tears. You will laugh, you’ll swoon, you’ll cry, and you’ll be thoroughly entertained all throughout reading. I really cannot say how much I enjoyed reading this story, and for that I was pleasantly surprised. 🙂 I highly recommend this novel for romance lovers everywhere!
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Get your copy today!

Amazon Paperback: http://goo.gl/kXFm8B
I received an advanced copy from the author in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

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

Luseta Shampoo & Conditioner

I am a huge fan of tea tree oil, so when I saw this shampoo and conditioner set, I knew I wanted to try it out. First off, let me just say that I love the smell of both the shampoo and conditioner. The tea tree and Argan oil blend perfectly together, and the way the shampoo feels on my scalp is so luxurious and immediately gives it a clean and relaxed feeling. The shampoo and conditioner leave my hair looking fuller, shinier, and healthier, and I love that I’m not putting harmful chemicals on my hair and scalp each time I wash it now! The shine and fullness is so incredibly nice, I can’t believe it has improved this much since using this set. Honestly, I would enjoy using the shampoo just for the smell, but the additional benefits my scalp and hair are receiving make it ten times better. My head isn’t as itchy and I haven’t been getting as much dandruff. Tea tree and argan oil are meant to be together, my friends, and you won’t find anything better for your hair than this (in my opinion). I highly recommend it 🙂
I received this product in exchange for my unbiased and honest review.