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

Vibrant Awakening – Tiffany Ransier

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

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

*In multiple POVs*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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two-stars

Insatiable – Sariah Skye

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOWEVER.

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

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

four-half-stars

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 Watchers: Knight of Light


BLURB
“The Watchers” are supernatural beings in human form, charged with protecting mankind from the armies of darkness. Unfortunately, some of these Watchers go bad.
Deirdra Eden’s The Watcher’s Series is written in a traditional fairytale style with a young girl’s discovery of incredible, but dangerous powers within herself, a cast of humorous side-kicks, a quest for greater self-discovery and purpose, and villains of epic proportions.
Watch the intense Knight of Light book trailer! 
In England, 1270 A.D., Auriella flees her village after being accused of witchcraft. Pursued by nightmarish creatures, she struggles to accept the truth about her humanity.
Filled with fairies, dwarves, pixies, dragons, and monsters, Knight of Light is an enthralling tale that will capture the imaginations of readers young and old.
(Book description from Amazon)

I am a sucker for young adult books–particularly if they are paranormal or fantastical in nature. With that being said, when I had the opportunity to review The Watchers: Knight of Light, I jumped on it. This novel is somewhat reminiscent of Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty and Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven while still maintaining a quality unique to itself. This will definitely be a series I’ll be following. 🙂
Filled with magic, fairies, dwarves, witches, and pixies (and all sorts of other magical creatures!), this is one of the most imaginative stories I’ve read in quite some time. The main character, Auriella, has such sass and courage, you can’t help but admire her, despite her very naive personality. It’s interesting to see her growth from the first part of the book to the end, and I’m looking forward to watching her grow in the next book (and so on…).
If you’re a fan of young adult and fantasy novels, look no further. This would be a great novel to get your kids started on. I think anyone who enjoyed Harry Potter would be a fan of this series.
With that being said, there are some editing errors that were either missed during the editing process, or the book hasn’t been edited yet. I think with the proper general editing as well as a bit more story line structure editing, this book would do wonders. It’s still a great read, but a little bit of editing could go a long way to make it that much better. 🙂
I was given a copy of this novel from the author to give my honest and unbiased opinion. I do not guarantee a good review, nor am I additionally compensated to give my review.