The Wasteland – K.A. Knight

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 Wasteland – K.A. Knight

The world ended and with it so did the rules.

I was stolen from my family and raised in the Wastelands to the North. I did what I had to ensure my survival. I became The Champion, with my history carved into my skin for all to see.

Now I spend my days drinking and hiding from my past until four newcomers offer me a job I can’t refuse. When my past and future mix I must once again rise and fight. This time it’s not for my freedom, it's for my happiness.

*Contains triggers and a cliffhanger ending. This is a dark Dystopian RH.

The Wasteland by K.A Knight
Series: Their Champion #1
three-stars
Genres: Dark, Dystopian, New Adult, Post-Apocalyptic, Reverse Harem, Romance
Format: ARC, eBook
Goodreads

I’m a fan of the dystopian/post-apocalyptic genres, so I was immediately intrigued by the blurb for this book. I’m not gonna lie, though; for the first third of this book, I didn’t particularly enjoy it. I honestly didn’t really like the heroine, nor did I feel like I could connect with her in any way. That’s an integral part of a story for me, and since I found that connection to be rather lacking, the book sort of dragged for me. Her attitude got old quick, and especially considering this book was written in the first person in her point of view, it wasn’t a huge draw.

After a certain point, though, it started to pick up and I felt more drawn into the story. There were some major insta-lust/insta-love themes that I was kind of meh about–I prefer the love to build and grow–but I enjoyed her guys, including one who doesn’t come in until much later and is pretty much a psycho. I started liking Worth/Taz a bit more, especially when she began to allow herself to be a little vulnerable with these men. She’s definitely a badass and I understand why she became so hardened, but I just don’t much care for that type of female character.

You get to know a bit of her past, but not a whole lot about the guys. You start to get a glimpse of their backgrounds, but not super in-depth, so I have a feeling that’ll come as the series progresses. There was a huge Mad Max vibe throughout the story; the world building was pretty well done and the explanation of the different fractions of people was interesting.

Honestly, I’m feeling slightly confused by this one. I certainly didn’t hate the book–I wouldn’t even go so far as to say I disliked it, but I didn’t love it either. I feel like the series has potential and I’ll probably read the next one when it comes out, especially since there’s a huge cliffhanger at the end and I’m curious to know how that’s handled in the next book, but this one was just okay for me. I’m not a big fan of the writing style and I honestly couldn’t tell you why that is, just that it wasn’t my favorite. I never really connected to the tone of her writing. It definitely wasn’t a bad book by any means, but it didn’t quite hit the mark for me. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting, but I’ve seen tons of people recommend this book through book groups I’m in, so maybe my hopes were set a little too high. I’m not sure.

In any event, I’ll definitely be reading the next book and I do feel like there’s some major potential here. And as always, if this book sounds even the slightest bit interesting to you, don’t let my personal review keep you from reading it! Just because I didn’t 100% “click” with this book doesn’t mean you won’t. 🙂

 

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three-stars

Touched by Death – Ruby Ryan

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.

Touched by Death – Ruby Ryan

Four sexy gods of death—Thanatos, Anubis, Mictlantecuhtli, and Morrigan—vie for one woman's eternal soul.

Beth Carter is a private investigator preparing for the biggest case of her life. When she narrowly misses getting hit by a train, she counts her blessings and goes about her day.

But in the underworld, the representatives of death from every pantheon were already preparing to harvest her soul and escort it to the afterlife. Beth’s near-miss causes the wheels of fate to come to a screeching halt—and rips some gods out of the underworld.

Now four gods of death walk the earth: the Greek god Thanatos, the Egyptian deity Anubis, the Aztec immortal Mictlantecuhtli, and the Celtic goddess Morrigan. Still hungry for Beth’s soul, they must discover what strange fluke caused Beth to avoid her fate—and then bring her soul back to the underworld before it’s too late.

Yet Beth isn’t ready to accept their harsh truth, especially while focusing on her career-making case. Can she find a way to convince them to let her stay in the mortal realm? Or will she eventually succumb to their almost lustful desire for her soul?

Gods of Death is the new Reverse Harem Romance trilogy from Ruby Ryan. It’s a slow-burn romance packed with humor, drama, and supernatural action. Happily Ever After 100% guaranteed!

Touched by Death by Ruby Ryan
Series: Gods of Death
four-stars
Genres: Romance, Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal, Reverse Harem
Format: ARC, eBook

This was such a good book. I had never read anything by Ruby Ryan prior to this, so I didn’t know what to expect from her writing style, but I knew from the blurb that I had to read this story. I’m a huge fan of mythology–especially Irish and Egyptian–so that was a huge plus in my book that she included Morrigan and Anubis. Plus, while I’ve read books that had gods in them, I hadn’t read about gods of death and I was super excited to dig my teeth into this one.

Let me begin by saying the heroine–Beth–is a strong, independent, “don’t give a shit” woman who I would normally struggle with, but somehow the author wrote her in a way that I didn’t find arrogant or off-putting. Honestly, that’s a huge feat for me because while I love the independent woman attitude, it can turn ugly quick if you take it too far. In any event, Beth isn’t arrogant, but she does know who she is and her attitude is kind of refreshing in a sea of books with characters who don’t know who they are. Don’t get me wrong, I like those characters as well, but there are a time and a place for them … and for this book, Beth’s personality is perfect. She needs that moxy to be able to get through her interactions with these gods, lol.

Thanatos cracked me up so bad in this book. Poor guy just can’t take a hint. He’s also terrible at reading the situation. If you read my review of Starstruck–where aliens “invade” the earth and the hero is like a fish out of water–then you have kind of an idea of what I’m talking about here. All of them acted like this to a point, but Thanatos was by far the worst. He couldn’t understand why Morrigan kept insisting he be a little more careful of the things he says and try not to be quite so blunt all the time. It was a hilarious interaction that was so well done, and I’m smiling while writing this because it made me chuckle.

Anubis is the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome. He’s super chill and has a very calming air about him. He seems to take great consideration of the words he wants to say before he speaks them. He’s also very serious and contemplative. He also knows very little about this modern world, but he tends to think a little more than our dear friend Thanatos. He’s somewhat of an enigma and I’m looking forward to getting to know him a bit more in the books to come.

Mictlantecuhtli–lovingly nicknamed Mick, thank God–is definitely the lighthearted one of the group. He’s a bit of a jokester and enjoys teasing Beth and his fellow gods. He’s also a huge bookworm, and he’s absolutely amazed at all the available texts to read in this world. It’s fascinating to read his POV where he’s expressing his intense awe for all the various pieces of literature, and it also kicks you in the pants a bit to remember to be grateful for all the amazing books so readily available to us all. That was a lovely reminder and I cherished his childlike fascination. I’m excited to get to know him more, as well. His teasing and funny little quips throughout the book were some nice touches.

Then we have Morrigan … holy cow, she is a firecracker. She’s the one who seems to understand the modern world the most and is by far the most comfortable while being here. She’s also incredibly beautiful and she knows it 100% and isn’t afraid to show off her many assets–which happens to come in handy later in the book during a case they’re all on. I’m not a big fan of F/F themes, so that was my only negative here. I guess because it’s not something I’m into personally, so reading it just isn’t my thing, but it wasn’t enough to keep me from enjoying this book, nor will it keep me from reading the next books. I greatly enjoyed Morrigan’s character–if nothing else, for her immense entertainment value. She’s hysterical, lol.

There’s a wonderful amount of intrigue and the inner workings of politics. I’m not big on politics in general, especially in my books, but this was well done. Plus it’s more geared toward one of the politicians’ personal life rather than his politics, so it wasn’t like pulling teeth to read, ha. There was actually a significant amount of creep factor with this case that genuinely freaked me out.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I think it’s going to be a good trilogy 🙂 Also, it’s release day, so, woohoo!! If this book sounds at all interesting to you, make sure you go check it out! We’ve gotta support our awesome indie authors. Then make sure you come back here and tell me what you thought of it!

 

 

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four-stars

Bound By Magic – 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.

Bound By Magic – Sadie Moss

Magic I never wanted. Power I can’t control. And four alluring men who are the key to it all.

Ever since the Great Death killed two thirds of the magical population, the magically Gifted have used their powers to oppress the Blighted—anyone without magic. Surviving as one of the Blighted in a city like Denver means I have to be quicker, smarter, and fiercer than the magical beings that rule the city.

I get by just fine working as a mercenary and assassin until I take a job on my twenty-fifth birthday. What should be a routine take-down of an incubus and his buddies turns into a major clusterf#ck when something inside me goes haywire.

Turns out, I do have magic. And it’s so powerful, it’s bound these four men to me.

Jae, the thoughtful, intelligent mage with a sadness in him I can’t help but want to heal. Fenris, the sexy, devil-may-care wolf shifter with the killer grin. Akio, the incubus who pushes all my buttons—in the best and worst ways. And Corin, the human from my past who still holds a piece of my heart.

They’re part of an underground rebellion working for equality among the races and fighting back against the magical elite. And according to them, I may just be the missing piece in their battle.

I’m Lana Crow. Mercenary. Gifted. Rebel. And my story is just beginning…

-------------------------------

Bound by Magic is the first book in the Magic Awakened trilogy, a slow-burn reverse harem urban fantasy series featuring a badass heroine, magical intrigue, and four sexy-as-sin men.

Bound by Magic (September 25th 2018)Game of Lies (October 11th 2018) Consort of Rebels (Nov 1 2018)

Bound by Magic by Sadie Moss
Series: Magic Awakened #1
four-stars
Genres: Romance, Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal, Reverse Harem
Format: ARC, eBook

Okay, so if you’ve been reading my blog at all for the last couple of months, you know that I’ve been seriously into the reverse harem genre recently. It’s actually getting to the point where I’ve almost read everything that’s available right now, so when an RH ARC opportunity is presented, I make sure I take advantage of it. And really, one of my favorite things about being so involved in the indie community is the fact that you have access to so much really good material–whether that’s through KU (kindle unlimited), ARC opportunities or review copies. There is so much talent in this community and I consider myself exceedingly fortunate to have the opportunity to review so many books that are just as good–if not better–than those in the mainstream market.

This is yet another book written by an author who is new to me, but I now consider myself a fan. I love Sadie’s writing style and she’s created a heroine I quite enjoyed getting to know. Lana is strong while maintaining vulnerability and she’s trying to survive in a world where non-magic people–known as Blighted–are looked down upon and treated as if they’re nothing. Years prior, there was the Great Death, which wiped out two-thirds of the magically inclined–called the Gifted–that gave way to the horrific treatment of the Blighted by the Gifted.

Lana is a mercenary, making her living by taking random jobs from the Gifted in hopes of surviving another day and keeping a low profile. It isn’t until a job gone bad on her twenty-fifth birthday that she discovers she has magic, too. And not only does she have magic, but she’s now bound to four drop-dead gorgeous men, each with an astronomically different personality that calls to hers in separate ways. Jae is a mage; he’s cool and collected and nothing–except his family–seems to rock his boat. He’s the one comfort Lana clings to when she’s first told what’s going on, and she gloms onto his peaceful presence as she desperately tries to navigate this new world. Fenris is a wolf shifter; he’s like a giant puppy–he’s constantly warm and always smiling. He always has a joke or silly quip up his sleeve and his friendliness makes him so easy to love. Corin is a human; he’s the boy from her past with scars so deep from when she disappeared from his life the last time that she isn’t sure she’ll ever break through his carefully constructed walls. And then there’s Akio; the incubus. Also known as the resident asshole. What is it with me and loving all these assholes in these books? Akio is sexy as sin. Lana doesn’t want to be drawn to him, but she can’t help herself. Not only that, but she’s worried what she’s feeling for him has more to do with his curse than what she’s actually feeling.

I greatly enjoyed this book. The world-building was fascinating and I felt like there was a great deal of character development despite it being just the first book. Also, Lana’s roommate is Ivy, a TV-loving ghost. She’s not in the book a lot, but I enjoyed the parts she was in; she was a nice added quirk to the already interesting storyline. And, I mean, who wouldn’t like a pop culture junkie ghost, anyway? 🙂

There was a lot of inner-politics within this story that was both intriguing and infurating, and there was just enough action to keep me glued to the pages. I’m excited to see where the author goes with this storyline. It ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, which is to be expected since it’s a continuing series, and I have a significant amount of trepidation for where Lana finds herself now. I don’t want to say anything in detail about it for fear of spoilers, but I definitely want to know what happens next, lol.

I highly recommend this book! Also, can we talk about this cover? I love it. It’s so bright and eye-catching. Makes it so much better that the insides are just as good, too 😉

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four-stars

Starstruck – S.E. Anderson

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.

Starstruck – S.E. Anderson

After an incident with a hot-air balloon causes college-dropout Sally Webber to lose her job, she sets off to find direction in her life. Crashing into a teleporting alien, however, is not on her to-do list.

Now she’s on the run from TV-drama-loving aliens, and things are just getting started. Zander won’t stop reeling her into life-or-death situations to save her planet, as he waits for his laser-wielding sister to search the universe for him. Though Sally isn’t quite sure if he wants to save Earth from annihilation, or just quell his curiosity of all things human.

On top of this, she’s got to find lost alien emissaries, as well as a job, and stop the planet from getting incinerated in the process. But with Zander as her roommate, what could possibly go wrong?

Starstruck by S.E. Anderson
Series: Starstruck #1
four-half-stars
Genres: Romance, Fantasy, New Adult, Science Fiction
Format: Review Copy, eBook
Goodreads

This was a unique perspective on the whole “aliens walk among us” trope. I’ve gotta say, it’s definitely one of my favorites for how it’s presented. The aliens aren’t what I expected, especially the hero of the story. The author takes what you have come to expect from this genre and turns it into a fun and quirky new science fiction/fantasy genre that I was completely engrossed in. It was also unique in the fact that it takes place in our current timeframe instead of being a futuristic timeline. While the aliens in the book–particularly Zander and his sister–have visited many different planets, many different periods of time, and don’t actually have any particular idea what timeframe they’re in at any given basis, the heroine lives in this decade. I loved reading a time I recognize and imagining how I would react to aliens just randomly showing up in my life.

Sally is the kind of girl I would want to be friends with. Sure, she’s got some baggage and can be a little annoying just like any other gal, but I loved her. I thought she was real and funny and snarky and reacted to her situation in a believable way. Her friendship with Marcy is adorable and reminded me of the friendship I share with my best friend. Marcy is the kind of friend who isn’t afraid to give it to you straight when you need it, but she’s also got your back 100% and wants you to be happy.

I also want to point out that this author writes some absolutely hysterical scenarios in this book that had me laughing out loud. For instance, this part where the heroine gets totally drunk and makes absolutely no sense:

I snapped my head back to Zander, glaring. “I want you,” I growled, “to fibble the flots.”

“To do what now?”

“To flibble. The flots.”

“Excuse me?”

“Flots.”

There are so many hilarious quips and one-liners all throughout this novel that made it even more enjoyable than it already was. I already liked the book, but the humor is what brought the star rating up on this book for me. It was just silly kind of humor that I’m not sure anyone else would appreciate as much, but I certainly found it hilarious. lol.

And then Zander … there is some serious chemistry between our girl and Zan. I’m hoping the relationship grows in the next book, because, wow. I just love him. He’s goofy and kind of airheaded and doesn’t really get human culture at all, which is hilarious on its own. He’s also extremely intelligent and is an incredibly deep person who enjoys discussing philosophy at length while trying to dissect human emotions–oh, and solve all the world’s (or should I say worlds’?) problems while he’s at it. You know, the usual.

Together, Sally and Zander make a great team, even if Zander has a nasty habit of crashing all of Sally’s dates with her uber sweet but somewhat possessive boyfriend–coincidence? I think not. But that’s just one of my many theories. ;P And when Zander’s sister enters the picture … oi. I have kind of a love/hate feeling for Blayde. She’s tough and a badass and has a “takes no shit” kind of attitude … and I kind of love her for it, but I also hate the way she treats Sally. But then again, it’s sort of understandable when you take into account that it’s been just Zander and Blayde for God knows how long. In any event, I have a feeling I’m going to grow to like her more in the next book(s).

I devoured this book almost in one sitting. It took roughly a day and the next morning to finish reading it, and the only reason I stopped was because I just couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer, lol.

I highly recommend this book for any fans of sci-fi, fantasy, or anyone who wants a good laugh. I honestly can’t wait to get to the next book in the series and I have a feeling this will quickly become one of my favorite series I’ve read. If you read it, let me know what you think!

 

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four-half-stars

AUDIOBOOK: You – Caroline Kepnes

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

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

AUDIOBOOK: You – Caroline Kepnes

“[A] beautifully crafted thriller that will give you chills.” (People magazine)

From debut author Caroline Kepnes comes You, one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Books of 2014, and a brilliant and terrifying novel for the social media age.

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

A terrifying exploration of how vulnerable we all are to stalking and manipulation, debut author Caroline Kepnes delivers a razor-sharp novel for our hyper-connected digital age. You is a compulsively readable page-turner that’s being compared to Gone Girl, American Psycho, and Stephen King’s Misery.

You by Caroline Kepnes
Series: You #1
four-half-stars
Genres: Thriller
Format: Audiobook
Length: 11 hours and 8 minutes
Narrator: Santino Fontana

When I first read about You, it was when the trailer for the TV show on Lifetime first premiered. Now, I just so happen to be a pretty big fan of Penn Badgley, so I was immediately excited to see he was acting again and knew I wanted to watch it, regardless of the premise. Then I watched the trailer, and whoo, boy, I knew I needed to watch this show. Then to discover it was based on a book? Sign me up, dude.

This book is so far beyond what I normally read, it’s not even funny. In fact, I never really used to read thrillers until I started proofreading for a woman who writes suspense/thriller romance novels (shout out to Jane Blythe!) and I realized I actually quite like the thriller genre.

Now, with that said, You is not a romance. It has romantic elements and sexual themes, but it is not a romance novel. There’s nothing romantic about a psycho stalking you and willing to kill for you because he’s “in love with you.” The only book that comes close to these themes while retaining the romantic relationship is Notice by K. Webster, but it’s no less dark and definitely not for the faint of heart. (K. has also stated she’s a big fan of this book, so I can’t help but wonder if Notice was partly inspired by this book. Hmmm … 😉 )

Anyway, back to this review …

In some ways, this book reminded me of Misery except, to be honest, I was much more riveted to this book. A lot of it had to do with the amazing way Santino Fontana presented this text while he read. He not only read the book, but he was Joe. I don’t think I’ve ever been that involved in an audiobook where I felt like I was actually listening to the character himself recount his story. It was incredible. On a scale of 1-5 for Santino, I would easily put him at a 7. He was so dang good. If I’d had any doubts about the story itself, I would’ve kept listening just to hear him read it. His voice is perfect and his inflections were perfect. I’m now a fan and can’t wait to listen to him on other audios (especially the sequel, squee!!).

Beck is extremely self-centered and insecure–two very volatile qualities to have. She seems to think the whole world should revolve around her, to the point that she ignores all the warning signs emitting from Joe and their strange relationship–until it’s too late, of course. Gah. Beck. Girl. What on earth were you thinking?!

And Joe … ugh, Joe. I hate that I find Joe–the closeted, completely unhinged psychopath–so freaking attractive. Seriously, it’s all kinds of messed up. He seems so deep–haha, just you wait–and sensitive and he’s smart. Holy crap, is he smart. And he loves books! And not only does he love them, but he loves talking about them. On the surface, Joe is exactly what any young woman who wants an intelligent, easygoing, kind, selfless boyfriend to be. And then, the longer you listen–or read–the more unsettling his narrative becomes. And the thing is, Joe flat out says the world is backward for assuming that he would be the bad guy, simply because he follows Beck everywhere and watches her through her windows.

*random vent sesh alert* Oh, and the effing windows. Who the hell has giant windows–in freaking New York, no less–WITH NO CURTAINS?!?! Does this girl want to be murdered? Does it just not bother her in the least that the whole freaking city can watch her get naked in front of her big ass windows and doing God knows what else? Is she that much of an attention whore that she doesn’t care that some creeper could be watching her–and does–constantly, as long as she feels like she’s the center of attention? Beck, honey. Put your clothes on and get yourself some curtains, girl.

Ahem. Sorry.

I was blown away by the writing style. It’s written in the first person from Joe’s perspective and I’ve never read anything quite like this. It’s different and intriguing and I was hooked by the first chapter. I rushed out to buy the TV series tie-in copy of the book (I mean, Penn Badgley, am I right??) and I know I’ll be reading this book again. It’s too good not to. And if you’re like me and interested in psychology in any way at all, it’s a bonus to get inside the mind of the psycho and try and figure out the way he ticks.

 

In any event, kudos to Caroline Kepnes for writing such a phenomenal story that gets inside your head and makes you paranoid and intrigued and leaves you wanting, all at once–or is that just me? I honestly have no idea how I went this long without reading [read: listening] it, but I’m glad I finally did. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the TV show plays out! So far, they’ve done a great job and I have high hopes for the rest of the season.

If my review sounds the least bit interesting, then please give this book a read and then come back and tell me what you thought of it!

 

         

four-half-stars

The Spirit Breather – R.J. Harris

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 Spirit Breather – R.J. Harris

According to the prophecy, only Emily Morrow can destroy the Raven Mockers, the shape-shifting witches who feed on human souls. Now, seventeen years after her birth, Joseph Stomper, a spirit warrior of the Nunnehi immortals, must fulfill the blood vow he made to protect her. Trained to follow orders at any cost, Joseph must prepare Emily for the battle ahead. But the closer he gets to her, the more he questions the laws of his people…

Emily Morrow’s summer goal is to forget the assault that nearly claimed her life. But her plans for a relaxing, post-grad camping trip quickly fall apart. When her best friend, Kadie, is snatched by the dark creatures nesting in the mountains of Cherokee, North Carolina, Emily discovers the dark truth behind her tragic past.

Together, with Joseph Stomper, Emily must embrace her role in a centuries-old prophecy and learn to harness a dangerous gift before she loses everyone she loves. But in a place where rules dictate action, there are consequences for those who follow their hearts.

The Spirit Breather by R.J. Harris
Series: Native Guardians #1
five-stars
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Format: ARC

Ho-lee crap.

This freaking book was so dang good.

I have no idea how I’ve never heard of this book or this author before now because her writing–and this story–is phenomenal. I know I say this a lot in my reviews, but I honestly couldn’t put this book down once I started it.

Ironically enough, this is the second book in a row where the heart of the story is based on Native American folklore and I’m loving it. I’ve always been fascinated by the Native American culture and reading paranormal stories based on this folklore is awesome. I might just be living under a rock, but I haven’t read many paranormal books based on this folklore and reading something other than the stereotypical vampires, werewolves, and witches (oh my!) is pretty neat. Don’t get me wrong; I love pretty much everything paranormal, so I’ll read it all, but taking something unique that you don’t see often and writing about it garners huge points in my book. I mean, this book has raven mockers!! I’m a major Mountain Monsters fan, so I kind of flipped when I read the blurb. There was a nice bit of creep factor added with these things, too. Normally, I’m not big on the creepiness, but I liked that little bit of chill running up my spine while reading this one. It was mild, but enough to make a point.

I don’t want to say a whole lot about this book for fear of spoilers, but I honestly loved everything about this book. The character development was beautifully done; the paranormal creatures featured in this book were so clever and wonderfully well-written; the back story of the heroine and what she went through almost a year prior was compelling and heartwrenching and she was both vulnerable and strong. She wasn’t annoying, either, which was a huge plus. Her love interest is so friggin’ dreamy and I have a huge book crush on him *heart eyes*

Also, this may be neither here nor there for you guys, but this book is written in the third person and normally, I’m not a big fan of that narrative, but I found myself so immersed in this story that it didn’t even matter. I was completely hooked and felt like I could actually visualize everything that was happening.

 

So, at the end of the day, this book is unequivocally one of my favorite reads of the year. I was completely enamored with the story and I’ll recommend it to anyone who likes young adult paranormal because this is like finding a hidden gem. I’m so excited to get my hands on the next book and I’m hoping this author writes some more books because she has an incredible talent–I’m definitely filing her under my new favorite authors.

Please, do yourself a favor and go read this book!!

 

         

five-stars

Rose Petal Graves – Olivia Wildenstein

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.

Rose Petal Graves – Olivia Wildenstein

ANCIENT SECRETS CANNOT REMAIN BURIED FOREVER.

Founded two centuries ago by a powerful tribe of Gottwa Indians, Rowan was a quiet town, so quiet that I fled after graduation. Staying away was the plan, but Mom died suddenly.

Dad said she suffered a stroke after she dug up one of the ancient graves in our backyard, which happens to be the town cemetery. Creepy, I know. Creepier still, there was no corpse inside the old coffin, only fresh rose petals.

As we made preparations for Mom’s burial, new people began arriving in Rowan, unnervingly handsome and odd people. I begged them to leave, but they stayed, because their enemies—my ancestors—were beginning to awaken.

Rose Petal Graves by Olivia Wildenstein
Series: The Lost Clan #1
three-half-stars
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Format: Review Copy

This was an interesting read. I enjoyed it, but it was also extremely difficult for me to get through. The heartache is real in this book, man. It was bad enough reading about the main character dealing with her mom’s death, but when View Spoiler »I almost had to walk away. In fact, I set the book aside for the rest of the day and didn’t get back to reading it until later that evening. That absolutely broke my heart and almost destroyed the whole book for me. View Spoiler »

Somebody on GoodReads made the comparison to Twilight, and I have to say I can kind of see the parallels. There’s the somewhat reckless girl who makes some questionable choices and the two supernatural beings who are pining for her. Cat–short for Catori, which means “spirit” in Hopi–is torn between Cruz and Kajika, which becomes more apparent later on in the story. She’s impeccably drawn to Cruz–which causes a whole mess of problems with a dear friendship she has as well as with Cruz’s fiancee (whom he’s supposed to marry for political fae reasons)–and later on, she’s drawn to Kajika, who is pretty much Cruz’s opposite in every way. Honestly, I won’t lie; I was kind of hoping this would go in the RH direction because I loved these guys and couldn’t tell you who my favorite is. However, I know this isn’t an RH story, lol, so I know it’s going to be both interesting and devastating to follow the love story as she has to make a choice between the two.

Okay, so now that that’s out of the way …

The story was a good one. I quite enjoyed how the author mixed Native American folklore with fae mythology. It was a fascinating mix and one I wouldn’t have necessarily put together prior to reading this book, so I liked the bit of surprise in that. Now, I will say, the particular Native American tribe that the heroine is from was made up by the author. In the back of the book, she states that she didn’t want to offend the culture in any way by getting something wrong, so she made up a separate one instead. While a part of me thinks it would have been neat to build off the culture of an actual Native American culture, I enjoyed the made up one and thought it was clever.

Also, I just want to say, as a Michigan native, it was suuuper cool to read a story that takes place in Michigan. I loved having a general idea of the locations referenced and there’s also a solid Native American history in Michigan, so it was neat that that was brought to life in a new and different way. That was just a fun addition to an already well-written novel that I truly enjoyed 🙂

At the end of the day, I did enjoy this book, and I won’t lie–I’m dying to get my hands on the next one. I’m just hoping my poor little heart will be able to take it because if the first book was any indication, the next one is going to be just as heartwrenching. Agh.

I definitely recommend this book if you were a fan of the Twilight series or if you like the paranormal/fantasy genre–especially pertaining to faes.

 

 

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three-half-stars

The Connelly Boys – Lily Velez

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 Connelly Boys – Lily Velez

The Connelly boys are practically royalty at St. Andrew’s Prep. Popular, wealthy, and devastatingly beautiful, the four brothers have long cast a spell over their classmates and over the sleepy seaport town of Rosalyn Bay, Ireland.

There’s just one problem: they’re also cursed.

...Or so the rumors say.

Seventeen-year-old newcomer Scarlet Monroe has never been one for rumors, but when she inadvertently banishes a demon while trying to help eldest brother Jack Connelly, the most breathtaking of the boys and the one to whom she feels inexplicably drawn, she quickly discovers there may be more to the local superstitions and folklore than she originally thought.

Before long, the Connellys pull her into a dark and mysterious world filled with ancient magic, powerful spells, kidnapped souls, and deadly enemies. But none of it compares to Scarlet discovering the truth of who she really is...or what she’ll have to become to defeat a rising evil older than humankind itself before she loses everyone she loves—that is, of course, if she can survive the world of the Connellys long enough.

Don’t miss this first installment in the new dark fantasy series by Lily Velez, which features Irish folklore, Celtic mythology, mystery and light romance, and an engrossing world of witches and magic that will keep you reading long into the night!

The Connelly Boys by Lily Velez
Series: Celtic Witches #1
five-stars
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Format: ARC, eBook
Goodreads

There are some books you read the ARC of that you enjoy but aren’t immersed in the story or the “world” or the characters enough to warrant the subsequent book hangover.

Then there are books like The Connelly Boys. Once I started reading this book, I couldn’t stop. From the first chapter, I was hooked. It helps tremendously that it’s based on Irish mythology and folklore; I have strong Irish roots, so any time I see anything with Ireland or Irish topics as the subject matter, I jump on it. I’m beyond thankful I had the opportunity to read this one!

As you all know, I’m a huge romance junkie, so usually, any book I enjoy has to have at least some sort of romantic aspect to it. This book fits in the young adult range and there’s just a small hint of romance–which I loved and am sort of hoping the author expounds on that a bit in the next book(s)–and there was a perfect amount of mystery and action that kept the story rolling. There were also so many twists in this book that I honestly gasped out loud several times while reading. The secrets are vast and the reveals are shocking, to say the least.

I felt like the heroine, Scarlet, was relatable and fun to get to know throughout the story. She didn’t annoy me and I thought her grief over her mother’s death was written so beautifully (while simultaneously being heartbreaking). She’s a sweet character, but she’s also sassy and multidimensional. I truly enjoyed reading from her perspective 🙂

Then there’re the Connelly boys themselves …

Each Connelly has a unique personality and quality that makes them lovable. Even grumpy, pessimistic Connor is lovable in his own way–especially by the book’s end. They’re each so fascinating and while Jack is probably my favorite, it’s hard to pick between the others. There wasn’t anything I really disliked about them except for Connor being a jerk at first–but, like I said, he kind of redeems himself by the end.

And the paranormal aspect … Aaaggghhhhh. So. Good. I loved the incorporation of the folklore. While I had heard of them, I had never read a book with these certain kinds of supernaturals (I don’t want to say what they are so as not to spoil finding that out for yourself) and it was so, so good to read about unique paranormal creatures.

 

In short, I loveloveloved this book. I loved it so much that despite having the ARC already, I bought it and pre-ordered the next one. It’s just that good. I highly recommend this one; especially if you like young adult and/or paranormal!

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five-stars

The Stardust Series Box Set – Autumn Reed and Julia Clarke

Fan of contemporary RH or The Stardust Series? The Stardust Box Set is now available. Grab your copy of the complete series plus exclusive bonus scenes here –mybook.to/StardustBoxSet

Haley’s life may be at risk, but the bigger threat is to her heart.

After a lifetime spent in hiding, all Haley Jones wants for her eighteenth birthday is answers. But she gets more than she bargained for when Knox, Ethan, Chase, Theo, Jackson, and Liam show up instead, turning her world upside down. Though the team of six dangerously appealing guys vows to protect her, she can’t help but wonder whose side they’re really on.

When things heat up with the team, Haley finds herself in uncharted territory, torn between attraction and frustration. Will her growing connection with each of the guys ultimately lead to happiness, or will it all end in heartbreak?

**This box set contains the complete Stardust Series, as well as several exclusive bonus scenes. Stardust is a reverse harem romance.**

(copied from Julia Clarke)
You. Guys.
This is one of my favorite series ever. I’ve been anxiously awaiting this box set (exclusive bonus scenes!!) and now that it’s on my kindle, I’m gonna have to start a[nother] re-read!
Seriously–if you haven’t read this series, pick it up or download from KU. <3
Click here for my review of Polaris, the last book in the series <3

Congrats, Autumn and Julia!!

 

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Wolf Bound – Holly Hook

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.

Wolf Bound – Holly Hook

Loner, misfit, wild. Everything about the new guy at school, Cayden, should push me away. And when the wolves appear in the woods around town, one of them shares Cayden's dark hair, red highlights, and his wild, noble eyes. Deep down, I know the explanation for his amazing hearing, graceful walk, and his ability to fight off guys twice his size.

I should fear him, but he draws me in. I'm alone, too, having lost parents at a young age. Only Cayden understands what it's like to be different. But Cayden warns me off as his eyes yearn for me.

Turns out he's right to. Other werewolves exist, savage ones who hate human life and noble Wolves like Cayden. They'll attack anyone who dares enter his life. And now they're settling in my hometown. It won't be long before they destroy my home.

Staying away from Cayden is the safe thing to do. But without me, he'll go up against the savage werewolves alone.

And I can't let him do that.

Wolf Bound by Holly Hook
Series: The Alpha Legacy #1
three-stars
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Format: ARC

This was a quick, fun read. In some ways, it was your stereotypical teen drama (albeit with a paranormal twist) with unrequited crushes, mean girls, and your usual cattiness involved in high school. In other ways, it was an entertaining read that kept my interest.

Cayden is dark and mysterious and instantly draws Brie’s–and everyone else’s–eye. While Cayden is aloof at best and cold at worst, Brie can’t help but feel drawn to him, despite his less than stellar personality. Once they get to know each other, Cayden sends Brie reeling with his hot and cold mood swings and she never knows what to expect from him. While he argues the logical–and right–thing to do would be to stay away from her, he can’t seem to leave her alone.

What follows is Brie’s journey into an unknown world where she has more than the drama club’s resident mean girl as an enemy. She finds herself right in the middle of a supernatural battle for territory where the loser pays in blood and you can’t always be too sure who your true enemy is. Secrets are kept and then revealed, and suddenly, Brie realizes the problems she was facing in school are nothing compared to what she has to deal with now.

Honestly, I felt like this book was kind of like a Blood and Chocolate/The Vampire Diaries/Teen Wolf/Twilight hybridIt also ends on a cliffhanger and it’s kind of a toss-up whether I’ll read the next book or not. I enjoyed reading it and I got through it fast, but I’m not sure if I feel invested enough in the story to continue reading. This could also just be my current mood and I’ll decide I want to read the next book ASAP when it comes out, who knows. In the end, I would rate this one a solid 3 stars.

In any event, if this book sounds interesting or like something you would enjoy reading, I definitely encourage you to check it out and decide for yourself 🙂 It releases on October 15th.

 

 

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three-stars