Time of Enchantment – Julia Clarke

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.

Time of Enchantment – Julia Clarke

Ana Marea is disenchanted. By men. By the promise of love. By the illusion of forever.

Ana may have the brilliant mind of a scientist, but she’s a romantic at heart. Endowed with the ability to enchant objects, she can’t seem to spark the same magic in her love life. And after a string of failed relationships, she worries she’ll never get her chance at a happily ever after.

Could the answer lie with a wolf shifter, a genetics professor, and two men from the past? Or when time runs out and the spell breaks, will Ana’s heart shatter with it?

***Time of Enchantment is a reverse harem romance that can be read as a stand-alone novel. But for maximum enjoyment, it's recommended that you read Charms of Attraction (a prequel novella currently available exclusively in Realms & Rebels) first.***

Time of Enchantment by Julia Clarke
Series: Cursed Legacy Series #1
five-stars
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Paranormal, Reverse Harem
Format: ARC, eBook, Review Copy

If you’ve been following my reviews since I started writing them–or if you’ve stalked my posts at all–then you know that one of my ultimate favorite reverse harem series is The Stardust Series by Julia Clarke and Autumn Reed. That series was one of the first RHs I read and the characters just resonated so deeply for me and I adored the story. If you’d like to read my review for the last book, Polaris, click here. Bear with me though; it was one of the first reviews I wrote when I first started taking review writing seriously and it’s a little rough. (One of these days I’m going to write reviews for the whole series once I re-read it again!)

So, I was beyond ecstatic to read an ARC for Julia’s newest novel, Time of Enchantment. Not only is it a reverse harem, but it’s paranormal–squee! As you know if you’ve read any of my other reviews, these just so happen to be two of my favorite genres of romance … pair that up with one of my favorite authors and I was sold.

Ana is definitely one of my favorite female characters I’ve had the pleasure of reading. She’s sweet, super intelligent, driven, and unbelievably kind. I loved her in the prequel novel, Charms of Attraction (available in the Realms and Rebels paranormal and fantasy reverse harem anthology), but obviously only had a glimpse of her character since the story is told from her sister, Katerina’s perspective. Learning Ana’s thoughts and her very different personality from Katerina–even though Kati is just as amazing, simply in another way–was so much fun. I connected a little more with Ana if only because our personalities are much more similar. Ana is the quieter sister; preferring to stand back and let others take the spotlight while she is more focused on her studies and being somewhat of a background fixture. She also has some insecurities stemming from what she deems her uninteresting and lackluster magic as well as her unfortunate luck with men, and she will be the first to tell you she believes Kati is the more interesting, more beautiful of the two. While Ana does have a smidgen of insecurity, she’s also confident in her own right–especially regarding her education and knowledge. She’s incredibly intelligent and has worked tremendously hard to get to where she is, and while I don’t share her interests in science, I can certainly appreciate having a passion for it. Ana’s creativity and fierce passion for life–especially after discovering the love she’s always longed for–is not only inspiring but was such a joy to read.

Of course, every great love story has a great love interest. In Ana’s case, she has four …

There’s Easton, the wolf shifter she’d previously had a fling with, then had her heart broken when he left and she never heard from him again. Now that he’s back in her life, she has to decide if letting him in is the right decision or if she’s setting herself up for more heartache. Beckett, the mysterious and aloof professor for whom she is the TA. Beckett immediately grabbed my attention. Not only does he have one of the coolest names, but he’s intelligent, well-read, and he has a beard. Score. Also, I seem to have an issue with the guys that kind of come off as asshole-ish, which I’ve mentioned in previous reviews. For some reason, I tend to be immediately drawn to them and I have no clue why. Then we have Will and CJ, two best friends who just so happen to be–sigh–cowboys from the past. Will is extremely laidback, adventurous, and outgoing. He’s always cracking a joke and flirting relentlessly and honestly just being this adorable ball of light in Ana’s life. He’s so sweet and caring and he always knows what to say to make Ana laugh. CJ is much more reserved and kind of shy; he spends the first part of his time in the company of Ana and the other guys completely tongue-tied around her, which is so dang cute and endearing. He’s also an incredibly talented artist who’s loving, sensual, and sensitive to boot. It’s honestly impossible to pick a favorite out of these four; I love them all for different reasons–which is why it’s a good thing this is a reverse harem 😉

Between these four men, Ana finds the love and happiness she’s always so desperately wanted. It’s obvious how much each one loves and adores her, and they’re all so giving with their time and with showing her love and affection. There were also a few extremely sexy love scenes written between her and each man, and whew. Julia definitely outdid herself with those! There was one scene in particular where I was actually sweating, and I swore my kindle was going to burst into flames! *fans face*

The emotions this book evoked were so well-done, also. I felt so bad for Ana when she was trying to figure out who she was and what her purpose could be. I almost felt like I was reading a journal rather than a book, these characters felt so real to me. Ana’s feelings of happiness and joy are palpable, and when she’s sad or disheartened, I felt that way too. There’s also a section in the book that had my chest aching and tears springing to my eyes and while I knew everything would most likely work itself out, I couldn’t help but have the overwhelming feelings that went along with such emotionally significant scenes.

Needless to say, this was a 5-star read for me. I loved everything about it. I felt a special connection to the characters, I was incredibly immersed in the story, and the different abilities that were brought into this book were fascinating to read about and brought something fresh to the table. I highly recommend this book for you paranormal romance lovers out there (as long as the thought of multiple lovers appeals to you). I would recommend this book in a heartbeat, and I can’t wait for it to be released so everyone else can read this fantastically written story! If you do end up reading it, please let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts! 🙂

 

 

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* graphics made by me

five-stars

RELEASE DAY: Finding Home – J.C. Valentine

by J.C. Valentine
Genres: Contemporary, Cowboys, New Adult, Romance

 

FINDING HOME
by J.C. Valentine
Roped by the Cowboy, #1
Publication Date: October 18, 2018
Cover Credits: J.C. Valentine
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Cowboy, Duet

SYNOPSIS
Life is unpredictable. Vee learned that the hard way and did the only thing she could: she ran. But life
isn’t about to let her off easy.
Nash is everything a woman wants and nothing Vee could have planned for.
Gorgeous with his sexy blue-eyed stare, toned body, and wearing a cowboy hat,
he’s the perfect package and Vee’s ideal rebound. Too bad he wants nothing to
do with her. That’s fine. Vee wasn’t looking for love anyway, but her
meddling new roommate has other ideas.

Two people from different worlds shouldn’t make sense, but desire is an animal
that won’t be denied. With secrets lurking on both sides of the fence, however,
it’s just a matter of time before someone gets hurt.

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41959410-finding-home

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International
bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the
Forbidden Trilogy. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her
penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly
edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No,
she isn’t sorry.
Living in the Northwest, she has three amazing children and
far too many pets. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur.
Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she
isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.
Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! http://bit.ly/1KxXWWB
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RELEASE BLITZ: The Hanged Man – Clarissa Wild

Title: The Hanged Man
Series: Cards of Love
Author: Clarissa Wild
Genre: Dark Romance (novella)
Release Date: October 15, 2018
Criminal. Outlaw. Murderer.
That’s only a few of the names people call me, and all of them are true.
I did the unforgivable. I killed a man in broad daylight.
I did it for her.
I paid my dues, did my time.
Now I’m out and I want her back, no matter the cost.
She hates me, but that won’t stop me from hunting after her.
I need her to be mine again.
And there’s a secret I have to tell …
But everything has its price.
I’m willing to pay.
Is she?
 
The Hanged Man is a Standalone Dark Romance from New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Clarissa Wild. 
 
Note: This story contains disturbing content that may be offensive to some readers.

Prologue


Lillian
 
After
It’s finally time.
I grab one of the dull pencils from the tray and a piece of paper from the stack and place it down in front of me. Biting my lip, I stare wistfully at the sheet, wondering what I should write. If I should even write anything.
There are so many things I want to say, so much I have to explain, but none of the words in my head will suffice. She’ll never understand. She’s too innocent to know the truth.
So I opt for something else instead. Something familiar and loving, so she’ll know how much I care.
“Are you gonna start or what?” the woman across the shoddy table says while glaring at me.
I look up from my paper and gaze blankly ahead. “As soon as I know what to write.”
“You don’t get much time, y’know,” she adds, shrugging. “Suit yourself.”
I nod a few times. Advice is best not taken for granted, so I pick up the pencil and rub my lips together.
Dear Daisy,
You’ll probably never read this letter, but I want you to know that at least I tried. I’ve told your auntie Dana to hold onto the letters I send her until I get the chance to hand them to you myself. As much as I want to, I can’t be with you right now. But I promise it won’t be long. I’ll be with you again soon. Before you even know it.
I know you’ll be good. I know you’ll do great out there in the world.
And you know … I will find you again.
Love,
Mommy
Smiling, I read over the words again before my letter and those of all the other women next to me are taken by the guard as she passes us.
They’ll read the contents and decide whether it’s suitable to send.
This is how it always goes … here in prison.
There’s no choice to make, no autonomy whatsoever. Nothing but sleep, eat, work, and wait.
Wait until your time is up.
Until you can see your baby again.
But I knew the consequence when I did what I did. That I’d end up sacrificing precious time I could’ve spent with her. But it was the only choice I could make, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat if I had to.
It’s no one’s fault. Not mine or his.
Circumstances brought me here, and I accept that wholeheartedly.
Love … is what brought me here.
I made the ultimate sacrifice for my little girl.
For a man I couldn’t stop loving even when that same love ripped her away from me.
For both … I’d willingly hang.

Clarissa Wild is a New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of Dark Romance and Contemporary Romance novels. She is an avid reader and writer of swoony stories about dangerous men and feisty women. Her other loves include her hilarious husband, her two crazy but cute dogs, and her ninja cat that sometimes thinks he’s a dog too. In her free time she enjoys watching all sorts of movies, playing video games, reading tons of books, and cooking her favorite meals.
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The Hanged Man – Clarissa Wild

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 Hanged Man – Clarissa Wild

Criminal. Outlaw. Murderer. That’s only a few of the names people call me, and all of them are true. I did the unforgivable. I killed a man in broad daylight. I did it for her. I paid my dues, did my time. Now I’m out and I want her back, no matter the cost. She hates me, but that won’t stop me from hunting after her. I need her to be mine again. And there’s a secret I have to tell … But everything has its price. I’m willing to pay. Is she?

The Hanged Man is a Standalone Dark Romance from New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Clarissa Wild.

Note: This story contains disturbing content that may be offensive to some readers.

The Hanged Man by Clarissa Wild
Series: Cards of Love
four-stars
Genres: Romance, New Adult
Format: ARC, eBook

Wow. This novella was packed full of emotions in such a small package. From the first page, I was completely invested in the story. You also feel so much emotional turmoil from each of the main characters in their respective narrative; my heart was aching for these fictional people who were clearly still in love with each other but didn’t know where to go after certain events transpired that kept them apart for so many years.

The chemistry these two share is explosive. They obviously deeply love one another, which makes the attraction and lust ten times hotter. He can’t stay away from her any longer and feels compelled to explain the circumstances of his prison sentence, so he hunts her down and makes multiple attempts to have contact with her and she rebuffs all of his advances. When they finally do speak to each other, they can’t keep their hands off each other and I halfway expected my kindle to burst into flames. It was sexy and hot and filled with so much angsty pining and love that I wanted to cry. This book tore my heart out but still managed to give me hope. Ms. Wild is, in my opinion, one of the queens of angst and she definitely doesn’t disappoint with this one. Wow!

(I will say, the flashing between the present and what happened to label him a murderer and sending him to prison were sort of confusing for me to follow. That’s the only negative to my otherwise extremely positive feelings for this book.)

I’m amazed at how much story she managed to pack into a book under 120 pages long. Sure, since it’s a novella it had to move a little quicker than most books do, but that doesn’t mean it had less heart or depth than any of her other books. Plus, this just means you can re-read quicker 😉

I highly recommend this book for lovers of angst and second chance love stories. If you do end up reading it, come back here and let me know in the comments how you felt about it! I’d love to know your thoughts. <3

 

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four-stars

Game of Lies – Sadie Moss

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.

Game of Lies – Sadie Moss

In a world built on secrets, who can you trust?

‍I have my assignment: infiltrate the Gifted government and find a way to undermine their power.

‍Should be easy, right?

But my magic is going haywire again, the bond to my four is straining, and I don’t know how to play the role I’ve been given.

‍On top of that, I’m starting to realize there’s even more danger here than meets the eye.

Someone in the Capital isn’t playing by the rules...

‍Which leaves just one question. Whose side are they on?

I can handle myself in a fight. But can I win the game of lies?

Get ready for more romance, magic, and intrigue in the second book of the Magic Awakened series, a Reverse Harem urban fantasy featuring one badass ex-mercenary and the four sexy-as-sin men who will do anything to protect her.

Game of Lies by Sadie Moss
Series: Magic Awakened #2
four-half-stars
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Reverse Harem, Urban Fantasy
Format: ARC, eBook

I loved the first book in this series, so I was thrilled to read the ARC for the second. The thing about reading a series is if you really enjoyed the first book, then you never know if you’re going to enjoy the next one just as much or if you’re essentially setting yourself up to be let down. Personally, once I’m invested in a series, I have to finish it whether I liked the next book as much as the first or not–but thankfully, I didn’t have that issue here. If anything, it was even better than the first.

The intrigue was ramped up, making you wonder who Lana could trust and if her grandmother was one of the good guys or the bad. Plus the separation from her guys is taking its toll, not only on her feelings but on her magic, as well. Since the five of them have been bound by her magic, living in separate places makes it difficult for her to control her newly found magic. Plus, even more than that, she just misses being near them. Each man brings something to the relationship that she didn’t realize she was missing out on until their journey began. They’re her family.

Lana is faced with the same challenges she felt in the previous book, but it’s filled to the brim with magical politics and prejudice. This is a new world for her; she doesn’t understand the way the magical council works, nor does she particularly want to–but due to some unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances, she is thrust right smack dab in the middle of the council drama. While trying to figure out who on the council can and cannot be trusted, Lana has to deal with one of her boyfriends being treated like scum and this witch community attempting to ostracize her for having multiple suitors. As if she doesn’t have enough to worry about, she has to attempt to keep the Resistance’s mercurial leader, Christine–who has made it no secret that she definitely does not like Lana–in the loop with her actions and hopefully happy with the decisions she makes. Also, sidenote: I am no fan of Christine. I think her instant dislike of Lana is unwarranted and ridiculous, and even though her bitterness is somewhat explained later on in the book, it doesn’t wholly eliminate her crappy attitude. But that could just be because I happen to love our heroine and am fiercely protective of her, lol.

Now, I’m not gonna lie; there was a part of me that was incredibly anxious about reading this book because I was super unhappy that she had to move in with the grandmother she didn’t truly know. I didn’t trust the grandmother at first … and unfortunately, View Spoiler » The living arrangements are somewhat awkward–obviously–and the whole “Grandma being super rich” thing takes some getting used to for Lana … actually, I don’t think she ever really does get used to it. What I loved about this was how she made friends with her grandmother’s servants–who just so happen to be Blighted. Thankfully, while they are servants, Grandma seems to treat them pretty fairly … but they aren’t treated with any amount of true respect until Lana shows up. Their gratitude is palpable and it’s so sweet to watch their friendships progress.

And then … there’re the sexy times. The sexiness was ratcheted up by a lot in this book. I’m not going to spoil it for you, but let’s just say two of the four guys get some incredibly well-written love scenes. They were sweet, romantic, hot, and just … ugh. So. Freaking. Good. They were definitely well worth the wait, and oh. em. gee., I can’t wait to see how it goes with the last two guys. I love all of them, but the next two men are the ones I’ve especially been looking forward to reading about her being with. <3

All in all, I loved this book–even more than the first one. I can’t wait to see what else the author does with this series!

 

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four-half-stars

Burning Embers – Fiona Jeeves

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.

Burning Embers – Fiona Jeeves

The empire has been crumbling for three hundred years. But among the kingdoms fighting for dominance, Feia must learn that the most powerful thing in any world, is to be able to accept and love who you are.

Abandoned as an infant at a Temple, it is time for Feia to break free. Persecuted and held at knife-point, she is forced to defend herself and destructive magic awakens within. This new power brings premonitions of her homeland, Arngeir destroyed by a mysterious army. In order to warn the nobility, and save Arngeir, Feia must leave everything behind and make the dangerous journey north.

Beyond the Temple boundaries there is no protection from the elements, the dangers of the road or the Champions of Light, hunters of anyone who dares to be different.

Her power could be her salvation or her damnation.

A young adult fantasy, with danger, romance and a desperate need for self-discovery.

Burning Embers by Fiona Jeeves
Series: The Shadows Return #1
three-half-stars
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Format: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon

Have you ever read a book that you start and you immediately think, “hmm, I don’t think I’m going to like this one, but I’m going to stick with it for a bit longer before calling it quits,” then you read a little more and–surprise!–you actually really enjoy it?

This was one of those books for me. I didn’t think I’d like it when I first started it and it actually took me a couple of chapters before I really got into the story. Even though there was a lot happening, it seemed like it was somewhat slow to start somehow. I guess because it took a bit for me to get used to the writing style and the story didn’t immediately grab my attention.

I honestly didn’t feel connected to the storyline until after Feia left the Temple and “randomly” stumbles across Rhyode–a handsome stranger who is extremely intent on helping her, despite not knowing her personally. It takes a bit of coaxing and Rhyode saving her life before Feia finally agrees to travel with him–going so far as to make a spirit oath with him, which is essentially an unbreakable bond only released by death. While Rhyode seems somewhat shady to begin with, this was the moment where I thought, “oh man. Shit is gonna hit the fan.” because obviously making an unbreakable oath with someone you’ve known all of ten minutes isn’t the smartest idea–even if he did save your life and says he wants to help you learn to control your magic. There’s just not something right here, you know? So while I actually love Rhyode’s character, there are a few things that come out toward the end of the book about him that could potentially be very, very bad for Feia. So, nothing like dropping a bomb regarding one of my favorite characters and then ending there. 0_0

The friendship between Feia and Vesta was so sweet to witness, too. From casual acquaintances to the best of friends; sisters–their friendship is what every girl desires in another female. It’s sweet and supportive and honest and just so fricken cool. That was one of my favorite aspects of this book. Feia is learning who she really is and discovering herself for the first time in her life, and it’s so awesome that she has this friend who grew up in the same place she did and knows the struggles of growing up there, yet encourages her to be better. Feia also helps Vesta begin to heal from the horrible crap that poor girl has had to face since leaving the Temple.

The power Feia has is incredible, but it’s kind of frightening at first and I wasn’t entirely sure which direction the author was going to go with it. I knew the book had to end reasonably well, but I wasn’t sure where that left her magic. Thankfully, you gain a lot of answers regarding the past Feia can’t remember and why she has such strong magic in the first place. Rhyode does end up helping her quite a bit with learning to control it and proves to be quite the asset, despite the fact he’s terribly mysterious and has his own rather frightening magical gift. There’s a slight romance between Rhyode and Feia that I’m interested in seeing develop, but don’t read this book for the romance aspect of it. The biggest theme is definitely self-discovery and learning her magic, while learning to trust and friendship is probably next. The romance aspect is dead last, but it’s still sweet enough to add a nice little thrill 🙂

In all, I enjoyed this book a lot more than I originally thought I would and I’ll probably end up reading the next book(s) in the series so I can find out what’s going on with the characters and how Feia is going to do in this next adventure in her life. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys young adult fantasy and either doesn’t enjoy romance in their books or don’t need to have it in their books to enjoy the story. You might end up finding a new favorite!

 

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three-half-stars

Untamed – Madeline Dyer

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.

Untamed – Madeline Dyer

As one of the last Untamed humans left in the world, Seven’s life has always been controlled by tight rules. Stay away from the Enhanced. Don’t question your leader. And, most importantly, never switch sides--because once you’re Enhanced there’s no going back. Even if you have become the perfect human being.

But after a disastrous raid on an Enhanced city, Seven soon finds herself in her enemy’s power. Realizing it’s only a matter of time before she too develops a taste for the chemical augmenters responsible for the erosion of humanity, Seven knows she must act quickly if she’s to escape and save her family from the same fate.

Yet, as one of the most powerful Seers that the Untamed and Enhanced have ever known, Seven quickly discovers that she alone holds the key to the survival of only one race. But things aren’t clear-cut anymore, and with Seven now questioning the very beliefs she was raised on, she knows she has an important choice to make. One that has two very different outcomes.

Seven must choose wisely whose side she joins, for the War of Humanity is underway, and Death never takes kindly to traitors.

Untamed by Madeline Dyer
Series: Untamed #1
four-stars
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance
Format: ARC, eBook, Review Copy

As I stated a few posts back, I’m a big fan of dystopian/post-apocalyptic. But since this is such a popular genre, it’s not always easy to find a book that’s well-written or one that I feel like I can connect with and get into.

Thankfully, not only was this book well-written, but it was also incredibly engrossing. It actually reminded me a bit of Scott Westerfield’s Uglies, which was perfectly fine with me because I love that series. The post-apocalyptic, trying to make the “normal” people “perfect” to create a “perfect society”, the main character not knowing who they really are and struggling with the consequences of her decisions. The world-building and character development in this book were super impressive, and I enjoyed how in-depth the author went with the personalities.

This book opens up with Seven’s companions telling her that her mother willingly chose to go with the Enhanced–the society of people who are essentially addicted to these drugs that transform you from an ordinary human into one with enhanced senses–but she wholeheartedly believes that they’re lying because there’s no way her mother would choose to become one of them. They’ve lived their entire lives hating the Enhanced and fighting against them with everything they have; why would her mother betray them in that way?

The story goes from there. All throughout, Seven is wondering what really happened to her mother, and she’s determined to learn the truth. Certain events transpire and she finds herself wanted by both The Enhanced and the Untamed–those who haven’t gone through the “enhancement” process–and she begins to question everything she’s ever known. Every step of the way, she struggles with doing what she’s always believed is right and giving herself up to what seems to be the easier way of life.

And then there’s Corin–the man who confuses her and treats her like crap most of the time, but she can’t deny that she’s inexplicably attracted to him. Their bond intensifies after he rescues her from the Enhanced, and then it continues to grow and change throughout the story. His words say he’s not interested–disgusted by her, in fact–but his actions say the opposite. The growth of their friendship/relationship is extremely well done, and I definitely enjoyed watching the progress between the two.

Being inside Seven’s head while she’s so conflicted was somewhat confusing, and I think that’s the only minus to this book for me. I had to reread several pages where I wasn’t understanding if what she was seeing was real or if it was a Seer dream–or even just a “normal” dream. I kind of wish the author had made the transition from reality to her visions a little less jarring so it could’ve been easier to follow, but it wasn’t bad enough to where I felt like I couldn’t catch on eventually. I did knock it down from a five- to a four-star review for that reason, however. I think I understand the reasoning behind blurring those lines a bit–her brain is a mess after being in the “care” of the Enhanced, after all–but the confusion slightly lessened my appreciation of an otherwise fantastically written novel.

There are secrets, lies, intrigue, and a dash of romance in this story–and holy cow, the action. The action played out like a movie, and I was incredibly impressed with the detail and edge-of-your-seat suspense. Even though the transition between the dream world and reality was a bit confusing, Seven’s narration was fascinating. The author somehow managed to create a main character who is both a strong badass and a frightened teenager who’s just trying to survive without sacrificing her morals in the process.

All in all, I fricken loved this book. It does end on a cliffhanger, so if that’s a no-go for you, you might want to binge the whole series rather than read them individually. I’m definitely going to have to read the next book as soon as I can cause I gotta know what happens next! Highly recommend!

Happy reading!

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four-stars

Society of Wishes – Elise Kova & Lynn Larsh

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.

Society of Wishes – Elise Kova & Lynn Larsh

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.

Josephina Espinosa makes her living as a hacker-for-hire in the Lone Star Republic, a remnant of the fractured U.S.A. That is, until the day she and her best friend are gunned down in a government raid.

With her dying breath, Jo uses magical lore passed down from her grandmother to summon a wish-granter. Her wish? To save her friend’s life. Except wishes have costs, and for Jo, the price is the erasure of her entire mortal existence.

Now, as the most recent addition to the mysterious Society of Wishes, Jo must form a new “life” alongside the seven other members, one of which being her savior himself. Living as an occupant of the Society’s lavish mansion should be quite the perk, but while it is furnished with everything its inhabitants could possibly need, it lacks one thing—freedom.

Her otherworldly identity crisis takes a backseat, however, when Jo learns that the friend she sacrificed everything for is headed down the same path to ruin. Jumping in head-first, Jo uses her newfound magical abilities to protect him, only to realize that the ripples of her actions have far-reaching consequences. When the Society’s aloof leader Snow decides to give her a taste of his own ancient magic, Jo discovers that there are threads woven into the tapestry of her new reality that reach far beyond the wishes she is now required to grant. Ones that, if tugged on, could mean the unraveling of the world itself.

Society of Wishes by Elise Kova, Lynn Larsh
Series: Wish Quartet #1
four-half-stars
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook, Review Copy
Goodreads

This was such a cool book. The authors took the concepts of magic and the afterlife and completely reinvented both to create a thoroughly unique and fascinating world unlike any other I’ve ever read. The book held my attention and made me desperate to learn more about this mysterious society.

The main character, Jo, is an exceptionally talented hacker and the book opens with her working her biggest hack yet. There’s no shortage of action in the first scene, which immediately caught my attention and made me want to know what happened next. Unfortunately, the events that lead to Jo being initiated into the Society and the outcome of her wish is rather sad, but watching her eventually find her purpose within her new world is all part of the enjoyment of reading this book.

The Society kind of reminds me of what we would think of as purgatory in the sense that this is after their earthly lives are over, but instead of it being a place of torment, it’s where a group of men and women with ancient magic use their individual gifts to help grant wishes of people in the living world. Due to the nature of the wish, something has to be exchanged–for instance, Jo wished for her best friend’s life to be saved, therefore giving up her own life (read: existence) in the process.

There’s a huge mystery shrouding this novel, particularly regarding Snow–the leader of the Society–and Pan, a strange, not quite human woman whom Jo is extremely wary of, though she can’t figure out why. I was hoping a little bit more would be revealed about these two, but alas, my questions are as of yet unanswered, and this part of the series ends on a slight cliffhanger. Thankfully, at the end of the book, there’s a note regarding the prequel novella, which I got for free by signing up for Elise’s newsletter, and I’m not gonna lie; I’m going to devour the heck outta that thing. Snow captivated me from his first appearance in this book, and I can’t wait to get to know more about him and his story. I have a few ideas from what I read of the blurb, but I can’t wait to read it nonetheless.

There are some major sparks flying between Jo and Snow. I can’t wait to see what progresses between these two; I think there could be an incredibly interesting and sweet relationship between them. Jo is the only one who stands up to Snow and challenges him, and Snow is surprisingly gentle with her in a way he isn’t with anyone else. There were a couple of sweet, swoony moments between them that I loved.

I seriously loved this book. The fantasy, mystery, a little bit of romance, and the different personalities of the characters–all of it was great. There were a couple moments where I kind of wanted to facepalm at Jo’s choices, but I couldn’t necessarily fault her for her reasons behind them, either. In any event, this was a fantastic book and I can’t wait to read the next one in the series!

 

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four-half-stars

The Hating Game – Sally Thorne

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;2) A person’s undoing;3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
five-stars
Genres: Contemporary, Enemies to Lovers, New Adult, Office Romance
Pages: 369
Format: eBook
Goodreads

OMG. 

Since it’d been announced a few months ago that they would be making a movie based on this book, it’s been particularly popular in Romancelandia–two years after it’s publication. I’d kind of been putting off reading it, mostly because I’ve had so many other titles on my TBR list and not enough time. I finally had a little bit of time to read it and decided I wanted to see what all the fuss was about–especially before the movie comes out 🙂

Wellllll. I definitely get the appeal! This book had everything that I love: romance, humor, an awkward but lovable heroine, an asinine but secretly hilarious and sweet hero, heat, and lots of heart. There was honestly nothing I disliked from this book–well, except for the fact that Josh/ua is my ex’s name and that threw me off for a bit, ha. However, I like this Josh WAY more, so I got over it fast. 😛

The premise of this book is one of my favorites. Enemies to lovers + office romance; I read the blurb and knew I needed to read this book. The snark and sexual tension are definitely the driving forces in this novel. They kept me glued to the pages, even during the “slow” parts. Lucy and Josh are hilarious but often quite brutal with each other–helloooo, you two, it’s obvious you’re in love–and it’s an interesting journey to witness. From their beginning of mutual distrust and antagonism to falling in love, it’s a hilarious, beautiful story.

Lucy is an awkward, sassy, witty, sweet woman with a lot of ambition and the unwillingness to let anything get in the way of her dreams–especially the attractive but extremely irritating man who sits across from her at work. She’s been underestimated a time or two and she’s certainly not going to let this man or their bosses make the mistake of underestimating her now; especially not with her drive and her work ethic. I have to say, despite being quick to jump to the wrong conclusion and a huge amount of defensiveness, Lucy is one of my favorite female characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Her narration is just perfect and I loved being inside her head–especially once she started easing up on Josh a bit.

Josh is sexy but irritating and just plain mean most of the time. He’s surly and keeps to himself, refusing to even offer a smile to our lovely little heroine. Every so often, though, she gets glimpses of who he is capable of being–the melodious, contagious laugh; the grins he tries so hard to hide from her; the soft expression that sometimes graces his eyes when he looks at her. I had a major crush on Josh before they were even nice to each other (seriously; what is it about the assholes in books?).

They keep up their hostility by making snide remarks and exchanging scathing glances until they finally admit to themselves that they have feelings for the other. After that, new problems are introduced. The transition from enemies to lovers is interesting; Josh sucks at communication and Lucy is completely guarded and insecure, and a lot of that has to do with how she and Josh have treated each other for so long. While this book did make me laugh out loud, there was quite a bit of heart and angst that made my chest ache. Of course, there’s a HEA and it’s so freaking sweet and I couldn’t be happier with the way things end up for these two.

I absolutely adored this book and I can see it quickly becoming one of my perpetual re-reads. I can’t believe it took me so long to read it! It’s definitely one of my favorite reads of the year. Highly, highly recommend–especially if you love romantic comedies that make you feel <3 And if you do read it, make sure you come back and comment to let me know what you think of it!

 

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five-stars

COVER REVEAL: Finding Home – J.C. Valentine

by J.C. Valentine
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

FINDING HOME

by J.C. Valentine
Roped by the Cowboy, #1
Publication Date: October 18, 2018
Cover Credits: J.C. Valentine
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Cowboy, Duet

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SYNOPSIS

Life is unpredictable. Vee learned that the hard way and did the only thing she could: she ran. But life isn’t about to let her off easy.

Nash is everything a woman wants and nothing Vee could have planned for. Gorgeous with his sexy blue-eyed stare, toned body, and wearing a cowboy hat, he’s the perfect package and Vee’s ideal rebound. Too bad he wants nothing to do with her. That’s fine. Vee wasn’t looking for love anyway, but her meddling new roommate has other ideas.

Two people from different worlds shouldn’t make sense, but desire is an animal that won’t be denied. With secrets lurking on both sides of the fence, however, it’s just a matter of time before someone gets hurt.

 
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ABOUT J.C. VALENTINE

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J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Trilogy. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

Living in the Northwest, she has three amazing children and far too many pets. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

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ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

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Anyone else super excited for this book?! Stay tuned for more updates!