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!

 

 

Follow me for more book-related news, reviews and more [:

four-half-stars

Rock F*ck Club – Michelle Mankin

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

10 cities in two weeks 10 famous rockstars. On my knees. Against the wall. On my titsI don't care. As long as I get the evidence to prove it. Why? Because I caught my former prick of a boyfriend from Heavy Metal Enthusiasts doing a groupie doggie style backstage on the night we were supposed to be celebrating our 1 year anniversary.

He told me I was too uptight. Too vanilla. Too boring. So I got drunk with my bestie, Marsha West, the aspiring videographer. I ranted. I raved. I came up with a crazy idea. What I didn't know was that my best friend recorded me. Marsha put the video up on YouTube. It went viral with 10 million hits. Now I've got fans and sponsors offering me big bucks.

Rockstars are volunteering to be my f*ck buddy. Hollywood is calling. I get to choose which rockstars I want. The stakes are high. This sh*t just got real. What could go wrong?

Rock F*ck Club by Michelle Mankin
Series: Rock F*ck Club #1
Genres: Romance, New Adult
three-half-stars

This is a book I’ve been seeing random posts about here and there in the romance community. I’ll be honest: while I’m a huge fan of rock star romance, I was extremely apprehensive about this book as I’m not super into the whole “having sex for sex’s sake” thing. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the steaminess, but if there’s no heart to it, I have a bit of a difficult time getting into the story. So the fact that the entire premise of this book was that she created the “Rock F*ck Club” for the sole purpose to f*ck rock stars and “take back control” by treating them the way they treat women … well, I wasn’t super impressed with that thought. So, while I’d been hearing pretty good things, I kept putting it off.

Well, I’d recently gotten the opportunity from the author to read the follow-up novella as well as an ARC for the sequel, so while the first book is available for free on Amazon right now, I decided I’d better pick it up and read it so I would be able to review the next two books to the best of my ability.

And let me just say … while I wouldn’t say I was blown away by this book (no pun intended), I am glad I finally got around to reading it. It was worth it, no matter how frustrated I felt while reading.

In my completely honest opinion, the heroine, Raven, made me a little crazy. There were moments I didn’t much care for her at all–especially when she was so obviously regretting her choices and just flat out refused to communicate with the guy she had fallen for to attempt to come up with another choice. I wanted to scream at her that she didn’t have to go through with it when she was having second thoughts, especially if she felt she was forced into it by circumstance (which she did). Raven has a lot of issues, and while a part of me understood where her fear was coming from, the other part of me was just plain irritated with her. There’s also a part where View Spoiler »

And then there’s our hero of the story … Lucky. Yes, that’s really his name. He’s a beautiful, sarcastic, sensitive, wise, talented musician who falls so hard for Raven that his feelings are nearly palpable while you’re reading. He never gives up on her, even when it seems like he has, and he knows just what to say to her to make her rethink her ideas and actions. I absolutely adored Lucky, and he’s honestly most of the reason why I stuck it out through reading sometimes. If she didn’t have a love interest like him, I don’t think I would have enjoyed the book much at all–that’s how essential his character was for me.

Anyway, the love story at the heart of this book is what makes it worth reading. I wasn’t a fan of the concept of the club, nor was I a big fan of the meaningless sex she had (even though there were definitely some memorable scenes!), but the love story? Ugh, yessss, give it to me (again, no pun intended).

My chest ached while reading as I hoped beyond all hope that they would get the happy ending that I felt they so deserved. There were several times when I just had to set the book aside and do something else for a while so I could give my poor heart a break from the angst-ridden literature. BUT, I was so satisfied with the ending. I honestly can’t remember the last time I read a standalone this full of angst that had an ending I was this happy with. It was so perfect and sweet and everything I could’ve hoped for these characters.

My rating falls somewhere around 3.5/4 stars, but I definitely recommend reading it and deciding for yourself how you liked it 🙂

 

 

Follow me for more book-related reviews, news and more 🙂

three-half-stars

Gas or Ass by Eden Connor

BLURB

Not every relationship is about love.

The odometer on my sex life was stuck at zero the day my mother dragged home a husband I’d never met. Dale brought his two grown sons to help pack and move us into their house. Both were hard-bodied and handsome, but Caine didn’t speak to me. Colt, on the other hand, said crude stuff like, “Wanna ride with me? Then I’m gonna need gas or ass,” but I couldn’t take my eyes off his rippling muscles and challenging blue eyes.

Some are about speed, sex, and defiance.

When Colt offered me a ride to school, I thought the ‘gas or ass’ thing was a joke, but he wasn’t kidding. Though he barely touched me, he shattered the innocence I couldn’t wait to shed. Even then, I sensed I’d never be the same. He and Caine soon upped the stakes, putting me behind the wheel of cars that could reach insane speeds. They kept challenging me to find my inner wild child, pairing illegal drag races with high-octane sex games, games like ‘winner gets head’.

And some are about trying to break you.

It wasn’t long before I was hooked, but I always planned to walk away. Then everything spun out of control and walking wasn’t an option. 
I had to run.
_____

**Disclaimer: This is a tale of a young girl’s crush that turns to hatred and back to love. Gas and Ass is the crush-to-hate part of the story. There’s no HEA inside these pages, so if that’s a must, this isn’t the story for you. If you can delay gratification, however, the hatred-to-love part is the basis of the sequel, Turn and Burn.
(Description provided by the GoodReads page)

Whew boy. I’d been seeing this series recommended in several book groups I’m in, but never gave them a shot before. I’ve always thought they sounded interesting, but I just kept putting it on my TBR pile and read something else.

Well.

I was in the mood for a dark romance, so I thought, sure, why not? and downloaded this bad boy. I’m brand new to the author and aside from the blurb and a few hints here and there, I had no idea what to expect, so I was going in blind.

Holy. Freaking. Crap.

To say this is dark is being polite. To say it’s taboo is putting it mildly. This is the first book I’ve read in a while that was truly difficult for me to read. That isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy it–I sure as heck did–but it was definitely not an easy read.

Shelby is blindsided when her mom comes home one day announcing the fact that not only did she get married without telling her daughter (to a man she’d been dating for just a few weeks at that), but the man she married comes with two adult sons–both of whom catch Shelby’s eye immediately. Colt and Caine Hannah are undeniably sexy, frustratingly self-assured, and completely off limits.

What follows their meeting is a relationship that awakens Shelby’s sexuality and forces her to grow up quick. She knows it’s wrong to have the kind of relationship she, Caine and Colt have, but she can’t bring herself to stay away from them–even when multiple “red flags” tell her she should.

Shelby is insecure–sometimes frustratingly so. But you have to keep in mind that she’s still a teenager, not to mention that she never knew her father and has watched her mother have a revolving door of boyfriends growing up. At the beginning of the book, Shelby doesn’t really know who she is, but you really see her progression as you read–not all of it good, but compelling, nonetheless.

You really go through the ringer with Shelby in this book. There are so many conflicting emotions on top of being a young adult and learning who you are in the world. I went from raging at the pages to fanning myself to wanting to strangle the brothers to wanting to shake Shelby and her best friend to wanting to high five her throughout the story. There are so many things you feel while reading this book. There are also plenty of moments that heated my cheeks and made it difficult to read. There’s a level of promiscuity in this book that I had never read before, short of those that deal with sex trafficking (and that’s another issue entirely) and while I did find it somewhat tasteless at times and just plain hard to read, it fit the story and I think the author was going for something raw and brutally honest, which I can appreciate. Also, despite the fact that it was different from my usual read, I still managed to devour it in one day…so it obviously didn’t bother me enough to set it aside 😉

The story is also heavily influenced by NASCAR as the stepfather works for the company. This is so completely out of my interest range, but the great thing is that Shelby isn’t too interested in NASCAR either, so I wasn’t being bombarded with a sport I don’t particularly understand or care for. I’m not knocking anyone who has this interest, I would just rather spend my time reading or playing video games (read: being a nerd) than follow sports. I do think the author does the sport justice for those who are interested, though. She obviously has some level of comprehension just to be able to write about it, and if that’s your thing, then that’s one more plus in your direction 🙂

While reading this book, I was pretty certain it was going to end a certain way–the author herself even says this book doesn’t have a happily ever after (you have to keep reading the series to get the full story)–but I didn’t see the ending coming. If you think you got angry with the brothers before, it’s nothing compared to the bomb that’s dropped on you at the end of this book and it sent me reeling.

So, if you enjoy very out of the norm stories with taboo and/or dark subject matters–or if you’re just willing to read with a bit of an open mind–check this book out. Seriously. I honestly loved it. There were a few times where I had to take a break and step back from the book for a bit, but in all honesty, it was only for a few minutes because I had to get back to it to find out what happened next, lol.

4 stars 🙂

Amazon

Add to your GoodReads

All images used come from Unsplash except for the book cover.

Follow me 🙂

    

REVIEW: The Demon’s Possession

BLURB

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 🙂

The Slave Planet – Seven Steps

29863727BLURB
Love is the ultimate crime.
On a planet where women are born to rule, Empress Nadira’s secret affair with her slave threatens to rip her family apart. When she joins the highest council in the land, her secret is revealed. Will Nadira go against everything she believes in to protect her family, or will she choose her heart and doom everyone she loves to death?
Empress Eva thinks she has it all: wealth, power and a mother who adores her. That is, until she meets Lex, a handsome alien imprisoned in a slave market. His red hair and crimson eyes intrigue her. His touch sets her on fire. When the beautiful alien captures her heart, Eva is forced to make a life changing [sic] decision: pursue the career of her dreams, or give it all up for the love of a slave?
The Slave Planet is a clean, science fiction, interracial romance. It is a thrilling journey into an alternate future where women rule the world.
This is the first book in THE SLAVE PLANET trilogy.
(Cover photo and blurb taken from the GoodReads page)
Let me be honest with you: I am not a big sci-fi fan. When this book was given to me to review, I had major doubts. As a rule, I tend to stay away from sci-fi. There’s no real explanation for why I dislike the genre, I just typically don’t care for it for whatever reason.
And then there’s this book. THIS. BOOK. It truly shocked me. Once I started reading, I found that I couldn’t stop. The story was incredibly unique and fascinating, and in my mind, I could see the world this author had so eloquently described.
There were some grammatical and slight editing errors that were a bit distracting, but not bad enough to keep me from reading. Altogether, I enjoyed this book and I’m looking forward to reading the second installment!
Get your copy here!

RoomHate by Penelope Ward


Wow. Where to even begin with this book? First off, this was my first Penelope Ward read…but I can guarantee it will not be my last.
RoomHate is the tale of Justin and Amelia, who were the very best of friends throughout childhood, but grew far apart after a misunderstanding coupled with teenage stubbornness. After fifteen years of not speaking, they are forced to live together due to unforeseen circumstances. There is plenty of animosity between the two–particularly from Justin toward Amelia–and the whole scenario seems doomed from the start.
While living together, old feelings start to resurface and confusion arises. Not only has it been years, but Justin has a girlfriend-and she’s living with them, too! To add insult to injury, Amelia has a surprising hurdle to get through, and it’s both encouraging and heart-wrenching to embark on this journey with her as she navigates new territory, with and without Justin. How will the two cope with their overwhelming feelings, and will they get a second chance? Well…you’ll just have to read it to find out 😉
For readers 18+.
5/5 stars.
Get your copy here!
GoodReads review here.