Book Review: Legendary

Legendary by Stephanie Garber

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The game continues and Legendary (the second book of the Caraval series) follows the younger, carefree sister, Donatella. There are promises to fulfill and more mysteries to solve. But the answers she is looking for will require the greatest sacrifice.

The magic keeps getting better. There was so much revealed in this book that added to the complexity of the world. Everything that I thought I knew about the game was turned upside down again. I love how the author was able to keep the game just as interesting and magical as the first time around.

Tella was a wonderful character to follow. She is brave if not reckless and keeps secrets of her own. I was very pleased by how complex she was as a character and wanted to see her succeed. Even though she is very different from her sister, I loved that they compliment each other and help one another grow in ways that they would not have otherwise.

And did I mention the romance yet? No? Well, there is more of that waiting for you in this sequel. Despite Tella’s aversion to the idea of falling in love, her journey to romance swept me off my feet. I enjoyed all of her interactions with a certain someone I shall not name but let’s just say they were… legendary.

Ha, see what I did there?

Ha… ha…. okay, I’ll stop.

Overall, I loved this book and I have already bought and started reading the last installment of this series. I cannot wait!

View all my reviews

Content

  • Heat Level: Clean
  • YA
  • Fantasy Romance
  • #2 in the Caraval series

Favorite Quote

“Not everyone gets a true ending. There are two types of endings because most people give up at the part of the story where things are the worst, where the situation feels hopeless. But that’s when hope is needed most. only those who persevere can find their true ending.”

Stephanie Garber

Book Blurb

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister, Scarlett, from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice, but now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever…

Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . the games have only just begun. 

Book Review: The Clown

The Clown by Kathryn Ann Kingsley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


There is no way out and Cora has finally accepted her fate. Stuck in an “inversion”–a pocket dimension–her attraction for a dangerous man deepens. But, acceptance does not mean peace and there are other dangers in the form of smiling faces. 

The writing in this story is phenomenal. Kingsley has always captured my heart by the poetic way she strings words together. It is modern, dark, but also classic in a “creepy-vintage-circus” way that I love. 

Cora continues to be my favorite in this series. I am really attached to her and love the way she handles situations. She is growing as a character and really blooming into her new role in the Faire. I also love how organic and sweet her interactions are with Clown. Although his intentions are vague and ominous, his POV was a welcome addition to the story. 

As for Simon? His wicked antics were amped UP. The reader is reminded again that he is not a “good” man and he is very much still insane. There were moments where I was turned off by his toxic behavior but Kingsley still does a good job stating that these behaviors are NOT right but this is who he is. Despite this, he proved to have other sides that were soft and fluffy. 

The first two books did not have any sex in them but this book seems to have made up for that fact. The heat level is REAL my friends. If you were wondering when that was going to happen… trust me, you will find it here. However, I was a little disappointed by how it all led to that moment. The first two books were leading up to this and yet, it fell a little flat to me. 

I personally read romance for the romance and not the sex and there was an abundance of it. But for those who look for that in your books, it was… NOT vanilla to say the least. Despite this, I still enjoyed it and understand that this is an adult book, a DARK one at that, and those who want that HEAT will be very pleased. 

Plot-wise, there was not a whole lot going on besides Cora and Simon’s relationship. I really like that but I found that I was not devouring this one as much as the first two. The ending, however, was great and I was pleased by the outcome.

In all, I enjoyed it and will come back for more.


View all my reviews

Favorite Quote

“First of all, I’m not your boss. Second of all, I’m not stupid enough to waste my breath. And third, I don’t want to fix you, Simon.” She snickered. “Anybody who looks at you and goes, ‘he’s just moody and misunderstood, I can fix him with a little casual sex,’ needs to get their own freaking head examined.” She set down her coffee mug. “I know exactly who you are. Do I approve of your puppets? No. But I didn’t go into this naïve. Whatever the hell ‘this’ is.”

Book Blurb

A friendly face and laughing heart…will be what tears her soul apart.

Finally accepting that there would be no leaving Harrow Faire, Cora sets out to try to find her new way of life as part of the Family. With that comes her slow acceptance of her attraction toward and, even worse, her feelings for the Puppeteer.

But just as things seemed to be falling into a pattern, things turn upside down—seemingly literally—as Harrow Faire enters “the Inversion.” And her troubles don’t end there when the mute Clown takes a keen interest in her. One that she doesn’t understand until it’s too late.

Mr. Harrow took her from her life to become the Contortionist. But it seems…the Faire itself has other plans.
__________________
If you’re drawn to compelling villains and sinister love stories, The Clown—book three of the Harrow Faire series by Kathryn Ann Kingsley—is your next book obsession! Dark fantasy and occult horror blend seamlessly with romance in this gripping page-turner!

Book Review: The Unseen Heir

The Unseen Heir by Kenley Davidson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Against all odds, Leisa has returned to her kingdom, bent on warning those she loves of the dangers beyond their borders. She carries a promise to return to the man who once guarded over her but unforeseen obstacles keep them apart… but for how long?

As soon as I finished the first book, The Faceless Mage, I downloaded the sequel and devoured it in one day. I was hooked.

I loved the first book for its slow-burn story filled with political intrigue but the sequel is packed with twists and turns and exciting action. I could not put the book down and I was excited to read what our lovable characters would do next.

Leisa is a great character who is determined to do her part. She does not back down even when she could be in danger. Her fierce bravery and loyalty were admirable characteristics and I wanted to see her succeed. Kyrion on the other hand is just a big, lovable hunk. I love his character arc and was pleased that he learned something valuable at the end as well.

One of my favorite things about this book is how intense the chemistry between the characters are. Even though it is a clean read, the author does a fantastic job at building these electric “almost” moments that reduced me into an internally squealing middle-schooler.

There were many moments where I was like Jake from Adventure Time:

You know it’s good when you’re anticipating that kiss scene. But, I applaud the author for making those “will they?” scenes into a swoon fest that I’ll treasure forever.

Overall, I am thoroughly impressed by this author and this series and will be looking forward to the third book that will be coming out later this year.


View all my reviews

Favorite Quote

How did you know it was me?” For a split second, a tiny smile curved Kyrion’s lips, and it almost stopped Leisa’s heart. He was gorgeous even when he frowned, but when he smiled? He was irresistible. “I told you before,” he said. “I will always recognize you. No matter what face you wear.” “But—” “Always.” His eyes held hers firmly, allowing no room for doubt. No room for anything but her quickening pulse and the rush of blood to her cheeks. Oh, heaven help her, but he was dangerous. And not just with a blade.

Book Blurb

Against all odds, Leisa has returned home to Farhall with news of Garimore’s treachery.

But her reception is far from the hero’s welcome she imagined. Instead, she finds herself a prisoner—to the growing fears and suspicions of a man she once considered a father.

To escape, she must forsake everything she once believed in, and leave behind all hope of answers about her past. But if she stays, it means betraying the fragile trust of the man who saved her life in Garimore.

Torn between her duty and her debt, Leisa is forced to flee with Kyrion, leaving behind the only home she can remember for the uncertain sanctuary of Dunmaren—Kingdom of Shadows, home of the night elves. There Leisa must confront her growing feelings for Kyrion, her fear of her own power, and the hostility of a people on the brink of war.

When dire news arrives from Farhall, both Leisa and Kyrion must decide where their ultimate loyalties lie. Can Kyrion find a path to peace that does not require him to give up the only woman he has ever loved? Or will Leisa have no choice but to save the kingdom she still loves at the cost of her own heart?

If you love adventure, mystery, and slow-burn enemies-to-lovers romance, discover the Legends of Abreia, a new romantic fantasy series for fans of Sylvia Mercedes, Miranda Honfleur and Shari L. Tapscott!

Book Review: The Faceless Mage

The Faceless Mage by Kenley Davidson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When a bodyguard is tasked to masquerade as a Princess, she is given her own bodyguard–a brooding, silent, and dangerous force to be reckoned with. 

The Faceless Mage is the slow-burn fantasy romance that has every one of my boxes ticked. 

Large, stoic bodyguard?

Strong lead protagonist?

Slow-burn to the Gods?

Oh. And Magic?

I had added this book to my “to be read” list for a while after seeing it in my advertisements on Facebook. I pushed it off for other books in my never-ending TBR list but I wish I hadn’t put it off. 

This book just clicked with me. It is the kind of romance that pulled me in and I couldn’t stop until I reached the end. It was so fulfilling that I had to buy the sequel immediately. 

Was the book perfect? No. But, what it might have lacked, it made up for with interesting characters with crazy chemistry and swoon-worthy interactions. Even more importantly, this story delved into themes of choosing your own path and self-discovery.

To put it simply, I loved this book. I would recommend it 100% and cannot give it enough praise. 


View all my reviews

Favorite Quote

But courage was a language they could both understand, and hers never faltered. Neither did her compassion, and that was perhaps the most difficult thing of all. Because amid the darkness of his desire for revenge, he, too, felt compassion— for this lonely human with nothing to cling to but her duty to a kingdom that had been so blithely willing to risk her life.

Book Blurb

Leisa’s ambitions used to be simple. Guard the princess. Hide her magic. Wait for her family to return.

But all of that changes when her king demands that she use her unique abilities to spy on the rival kingdom of Garimore.

Alone, far from home, and living a lie that grows more perilous by the day, Leisa’s task is complicated by her most dangerous enemy yet—the masked assassin known only as the Raven.

Everyone in the Five Thrones knows to fear him, but the Raven is not what Leisa expected. As silent as he is lethal, he provokes her curiosity as much as her fear, and hides secrets she’s determined to learn.

When her already precarious mission takes a deadly turn, Leisa must evade the Raven himself if she is to succeed. It’s never been done before, but Leisa is nothing if not stubborn. And if she doesn’t become the first to escape his blade, her entire kingdom will pay the price—in blood. 

Book Review: Spellbound After Midnight

Review

Spellbound After Midnight by Jenna Collett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Refreshing Take



I love a great fairytale retelling, and this story did not disappoint. Spellbound After Midnight crafts a new twist in the classic aged tale of a woman losing a glass slipper. Tessa, a clumsy, spellcasting witch (aka, Fairy Godmother) takes on the task of helping a woman in need. But, when murder is thrown in the mix, Tessa meets the handsome but stern detective Derrick Chambers to solve the devious mystery.

This story had an interesting world that kept me engaged and excited. The story itself had some unique twists and turns that I did not see coming and a decent “bad guy” reveal at the end.

Both main characters were both likable and worth rooting for. Each had their unique backstory and motivations that pushed the story forward. I loved Tess’ independence and willpower throughout and also liked that her stubbornness got her into trouble sometimes. Derrick is a no-nonsense guy with a soft interior, a delectable combination. Their chemistry was amazing but as their romance progressed, I was a little disappointed by the lack of tension I felt between them. When the first romantic scene happened, I was confused because I did not think that both of them were on that level.

Overall, this is a cute story with a great mystery plot. I was pleasantly surprised by its refreshing take on a well-known story. I would definitely recommend it!


Content Warning: One cursory sex scene



View all my reviews

Favorite Quote

He bent his head, lips claiming mine in a devastating kiss. Relief swamped me and made tears gather under my eyelids. Honesty was my new policy from here on out. The reward was too good. Lies? No way, not me.

Book Blurb

Tessa Daniels needs a miracle. Preferably, the kind that comes with cold hard cash. Her magic shop is failing, and she’ll be tossed into the street unless she clears her debt.

When a financial boon arrives in the form of a young woman determined to attend the prince’s ball, a risky spell turns out to be the miracle she needed. That is until the woman is found dead at the stroke of midnight, and Tessa comes face-to-face with the kingdom’s cold, and way too appealing, lead detective.

Detective Derrick Chambers has no use for the supernatural. As the rising star at the Royal Agency, he won’t let magic, or the pretty witch that deals in it, get in the way of solving a murder.

His logic tells him to steer clear of Tessa’s chaos, but a forced partnership soon turns into an attraction neither can resist.

With the body count rising, and the kingdom in a panic, an exposed secret will tear them apart and put Tessa in the sights of a killer where no amount of magic can save her.

Book Review: Dreamspell

Dreamspell by Tamara Leigh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Imagine being able to time travel through dreams–I would be in heaven. 

Dreamspell is a tale that swept me up from the very beginning. Both 21st century and 14th century scenes were woven together beautifully to create an intriguing story. 

The two main characters were easy to relate with and root for. Nedy was a witty and fun character that I laughed along with. Although she acted and said things carelessly, it was forgivable due to the circumstances in which she found herself in. If I believed I was in a dream, I would probably throw a little caution to the wind as well.

Fulke was a cutie and such a gentleman. His reactions to Nedy truly were hilarious and genuine. His suspicions felt organic as well as his genteel nature. I rooted for them but was a little confused as to what he saw in her. She did come off suspiciously witchy and crazy for the time period after all. 

Nitpicking aside, I enjoyed this time traveling romance immensely. A little slow at times, I was able to forgive the pacing because the world and story was so magical. I would recommend this!

Note: This is a clean read

View all my reviews

Favorite Quote:

He clasped her to him and lifted a fistful of her hair to his lips. “Sweet Nedy.” He lowered his face to her neck. In spite of her stay in the tower, she smelled as he had only ever dreamed a woman might smell, and when she laid her head on his shoulder, he knew he could not let her go. Having lost so much which he had stubbornly resisted embracing, it was unbearable that he might also lose this strange, beautiful woman.

Book Blurb:

A TIME TO LIVE. A TIME TO DIE. A TIME TO DREAM.
Sleep disorders specialist Kennedy Plain has been diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor. When her research subject dies after trying to convince her he has achieved dream-induced time travel and her study is shelved, she enlists herself as a subject to complete her research. But when she dreams herself into 14th-century England and falls into the hands of Fulke Wynland, a man history has condemned as a murderer, she must not only stay alive long enough to find a way to return to her own time, but prevent Fulke from murdering his young nephews. And yet, the more time she spends with the medieval warrior, the more difficult it is to believe he is capable of committing the heinous crime for which he has been reviled for 600 years.

Baron Fulke Wynland has been granted guardianship of his brother’s heirs despite suspicions that he seeks to steal their inheritance. When the king sends a mysterious woman to care for the boys, Fulke is surprised by the lady’s hostility toward him–and more surprised to learn she is to be his wife. But when his nephews are abducted, the two must overcome their mutual dislike to discover the boys’ fate. What Fulke never expects is to feel for this woman whose peculiar speech, behavior, and talk of dream travel could see her burned as a witch. 

Book Review: To Love a God

To Love a God by Evie Kent


I love a little bit of angsty, dark romance and a strong-willed heroine. Sprinkle in a bit of Norse mythology? Perfection. I also tend to stay away from first person POV but I was pleasantly surprised at how well the writing flowed and captivated me.


Who are the stars of the show?


Nora, the female protagonist has everything that I love: wit, spunk, and a fighting spirit. From the beginning, she does not take any of the “you are my toy” crap from our mischievous God and I loved that about her. She had dreams and goals and a will to fight her circumstances. 


 Loki is an intriguing character from mythology so I was interested to see the author’s take on our anti-hero. He was a great mix of an arrogant, smirking prick and a tortured soul. His interactions with Nora were awesome and I liked that he changed his attitude about her simply being a “plaything” for him to discard after he was bored. 


So, what did I not like? 


SPOILERS


I disliked the fact that when Nora had attempted to fight against Loki, he still performed sexual acts on her that she did not verbally consent to. There is also a scene where Nora gets drunk and Loki decides to take advantage of her inebriated state and have sex with her. I cannot condone that and it left a gross pit in my stomach. Although their sexual relationship was consensual from then on out, the romance fell flat after reading those scenes. 


I understand that this is a dark romance and perhaps you may read it in a different light, and perhaps I should not be reading any more dark romances, but I personally could not get past these issues. 


Overall, I really loved certain aspects of the story. I loved the female protagonist and the angsty, dubious situation that she finds herself in. I love that she fights for herself and knows who she is. If you are into strong heroines and a cheeky, horny God then this is the book for you. But, if you detest shady sexual boundaries, then I would stay clear.

Rating: 3/5

Note: This is a 18+ book. There are many sex scenes.

View all my reviews

Favorite Quote:

A shiver cut down my spine; I wasn’t sure how he thought any of this was supposed to be fun for me, but being forced into sexual slavery just wasn’t my idea of a good time.

Book Blurb:

I spent my whole life training to become a ballet dancer—a soloist, a star. Today, I’m a toy, a plaything, a distraction…

An offering.

A sacrifice to a caged god, to the Norse trickster.

Loki.

Trapped in a cave for the sins of his past, he waits for the end of days. Modern worshippers curry favor with gifts and trinkets, spilled blood—and women like me.

Women who resemble his long-dead wife. We all have that look, you see. I’m supposed to be flattered that I remind him of a goddess in an age gone by.

Fuck that.

I’m furious.

The ones who came before me were sweet, docile, compliant—just like her. But I’m not sweet. I’m not docile, and I will never be compliant.

I am resilient. I am determined.

I am—not—drawn to him.

I will survive this.

I will survive him.

My name is Nora Olsen, and I will not die here.

Book Review: Bloodbond

Bloodbond by Sydney Winward


Unrequited Love turns Sweet

Zachariah Degore is not your average vampire. Being feral for ten years has affected his popularity amongst his vampire peers and a certain beautiful vampire that he is fallen in love with. Unrequited love is painful but will it always remain so sour?

If you loved the first book in this series, Bloodbond will not disappoint. From the beginning, the characters hooked me in. I wanted to learn more about them and the more I learned, the more I rooted for them. Zach is so sweet and passionate and you truly feel for him after you learn about his rough past. Laurel also surprised me and I was able to relate to her struggles with love.

I also loved how charming and natural the story turned out to be. There were several moments that made me go “awww!” Overall, I was pleasantly satisfied that this was more than just your average unrequited love story. Instead, this was also about a sweet journey of self-discovery and learning to open your heart to love.

The author did not ask me to read this book and these are my honest thoughts and opinions. I would recommend this book 100%.



View all my reviews

Note: Closed door sex scene

Rating: 5/5

Favorite Quote

He spun her around and couldn’t help the smile that spread across his face when she laughed gleefully. He lifted her up by the waist and she placed her hands on his shoulders as he did so. It felt wonderful to hold her in his arms, even if just for a dance.

Book Blurb

Zachariah Degore spent ten years locked under ground as a feral vampire. Now he has to redefine what it means to be healthy and whole. With his human life behind him, he starts anew in the vampire city of Ichor Knell with the vampire shah as his kin. He must prove he is worthy of his place in this new world.

Laurel Covaci is vampire elite, she would never court a feral vampire. After two hundred years she has yet to find a mate who meets with her satisfaction. She hides the pain of past hurt and abandonment behind a cold façade. Zach is confident that Laurel is the vampire for him, but can he break through her icy walls and convince her he’s the mate she’s been waiting for?