Book Hopefuls for June

I am a mood reader. Making a solid TBR is incredibly hard for me. It depends what mood the last book left me in that really decides what I read next. So here’s some books I would love to try and read this month.

The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun

This is an ARC that I received recently, and I actually have already started it. It is so good so far, and exactly what I need after a lot of heavy fantasy books. It also is a great book to start off Pride month.

A Vow So Bold & Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer

Hoping to close out this series! I was pretty disappointed by A Heart So Fierce & Broken, but I want to see how Harper’s story ends. This happened to be at my library when I was picking up some holds, so I just had to grab it.

Lore by Alexandra Bracken

This one has been sitting on my TBR for awhile but my library finally had it. I will always check out a book that incorporates mythology in the modern world. I’ve been seeing some mixed reviews for this book, so hopefully I enjoy it.

Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry

I saw this when I was scrolling through Instagram, and I had to check it out. I love Emily Henry, and really enjoyed Muse by Brittany Cavallaro when I read it earlier this year. With a Thelma & Louise type plot, this seemed like a no brainer. It also feels like it would be a great summer read.

The Duke Undone by Joanna Lowell

I’m a sucker for historical romance, so when I saw this sitting in the brand new section of my library I had to grab it. The summary sucked me, and it sounds like it is going to be a quick fun read.

Like always, there will probably be more books added to this as the month goes on. Who knows what I will pick up next? What are you excited to read this month?

Review: Daughter Of Smoke & Bone By Laini Taylor

SYNOPSIS (via Goodreads):

“Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?”

REVIEW:

So even though this series turned 10 years old recently, I had just discovered it. I was strolling through my bookstore when I happened to stumble upon it. Needless to say I completely loved this book, and I am so excited to see where this series goes.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a bit hard to explain because the mystery of the world and what is going on is slowly revealed and explained to the reader throughout the book. Our heroine is Karou, she doesn’t really know where she came from; she goes on mysterious errands, deals in actual wishes, and interacts with “monsters” daily. Her life is turned upside down when she meets Akiva. Drawn to each other almost immediately, secrets are revealed that change everything about the world that Karou thought she knew.

I don’t want to reveal too much because one of the things I loved about this book was letting all the mysteries play out. I loved that as a reader you are just as much in the dark as Karou, you discover everything as she does. I loved the whole world that was built in this book, and the magic involved. You have our recognizable world, and then the incredible second world of the Seraphim and the Chimera. Taylor does an excellent job showing and building both of these worlds. They feel wholly original, and like nothing I’ve read in awhile. This book was also surprisingly romantic which I wasn’t expecting, but enjoyed that added layer to the story and relationships.

I honestly cannot recommend Daughter of Smoke and Bone enough. I loved every minute of reading it, and was completely sucked in. If you are looking for a new fantasy series definitely check this one out. I can’t wait to see where this series goes.

RATING: 5/5

April Releases to Get Excited About

Somehow it is already almost April. March has flown by and I can’t believe it. Below you’ll find some of April’s book releases that I’m most excited. As always, these are books that I am super interested in or have been waiting on for the last couple of months. These just scratch the surface of everything coming out in April.

The Crown of Gilded Bones (Blood & Ash #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout – April 20, 2021

Bow Before Your Queen Or Bleed Before Her…From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes book three in her Blood and Ash series.

I have been dying for this book since I finished A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire last fall. It left off on such a cliff-hanger and I’m just so excited to see where this series goes. This series made me a fan of Jennifer L. Armentrout and I highly recommend this series if you haven’t already checked it out.

Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne – April 13, 2021

From the USA Today bestselling author of The Hating Game and 99 Percent Mine comes the clever, funny, and unforgettable story of a muscular, tattooed man hired as an assistant to two old women–under the watchful eye of a beautiful retirement home manager.

I read the Hating Game by Sally Thorne last month and I absolutely loved it! I couldn’t put this book down, neglected errands that had to be done, because I just wanted to keep reading. So Sally Thorne has become a must check out author for me. The synopsis to this book sounds super charming and I’m so excited to read it.

The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan – April 6, 2021

Naomi and Ethan will test the boundaries of love in this provocative romance from the author of the ground-breaking debut, The Roommate.

The Roommate by Rosie Danan was one of my favorite books I read last year. So naturally I’m very excited to read the follow up. Seriously, if you haven’t read The Roommate you need to add it to your TBR immediately. I’m excited to hear more about Naomi and her story. She was an interesting secondary character in The Roommate, so it will be nice to have her as the lead.

Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price – April 6, 2021

“Perfect for fans of the Lady Janies and Stalking Jack the Ripper, the first book in the Jane Austen Murder Mysteries series is a clever retelling of Pride and Prejudice that reimagines the iconic settings, characters, and romances in a thrilling and high-stakes whodunit.

As I’ve talked about on this blog before, Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book and Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors. So naturally any time there is a spin on her stories or a modern re-telling of Pride and Prejudice, I’m going to want to check it out. This one honestly sounds amazing! Pride and Prejudice with a whodunit added in, how can you not add this to your TBR?

Blessed Monsters (Something Dark & Holy #3) by Emily A. Duncan – April 6, 2021

The startling conclusion to the instant New York Times bestselling Something Dark and Holy trilogy.”

I was recently recommended this series, and I’ve been waiting to start it until after the third book is released. I don’t always do this with series unless I discover them close to them being finished. Since it only got recommended to me a little over a month ago, I figured I would wait it out. I’m very excited to start it and of course I’ll post all my thoughts here on this blog.

Let me know what April releases you are excited about, and if you are checking out any of these books too!

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WWW Wednesday – March 17, 2021

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Since it is Wednesday, it means another WWW Wednesday! I’m answering the three questions below. Let me know your answers in the comments, or share to your own blog!

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I am currently rereading A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I told you all it was going to happen. The entire time I read A Court of Silver Flames, I just kept thinking man I want to reread the ACOTAR series. I couldn’t get it off my brain, and I hit a reading slump. So here we are! Honestly, it’s really nice to reread. This series is very much a comfort series for me and I kind of need that right now.

What did you recently finish reading?

I just finished Well Played by Jen DeLuca. Honestly, this book is fine. I had added it to my TBR after reading Well Met at the beginning of last year which I really enjoyed. This book doesn’t really change the game, but that’s ok. It is an enjoyable rom-com and if that is what you are looking for then its perfect. I’ll have a full review posted to my blog soon.

What do you think you’ll read next?

This is really tough because I’ve been in a real reading slump. I think I might read Storm & Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout. This one has been sitting on my Kindle for awhile, so it might be nice to clear that off the shelf. This is genuinely a tough question to answer right now. So this could change, it is whatever strikes my fancy right now.

Review: Dark Harmony (The Bargainer #3) by Laura Thalassa

SYNOPSIS (via Goodreads):

“For Callypso Lillis, the fae magic that now runs through her veins is equal parts curse and good fortune. For the very thing that bonds her to Desmond Flynn, the King of the Night, also makes her vulnerable to the Thief of Souls, a man who wants to break the world … and Callie along with it.

But it’s not just the Thief whose shadow looms over the Otherworld. Des’s father is back from the dead, and he wants revenge on the son who sent him to the grave in the first place.

Des and Callie must figure out how to stop both men, and time is running out. Because there are forces at play working to tear the lovers apart once and for all … and unfortunately for them, death is no longer the worst thing to fear.”

REVIEW:

So I picked up Dark Harmony right away because I just needed to know how this series ended. While the strong points in this series remain, I was disappointed with how this book ended.

Dark Harmony starts off with a bang. Callie is dealing with the fact that she was on death’s door, but has now been brought back to life and made fae by the lilac wine. After a conversation with Des and coming to an understanding with Des, screams begin to erupt around the castle. The sleeping soldiers have awoken, it is an ambush. War has come to the Otherworld, and Callie and Des need to figure out how to stop the Thief of Souls.

Callie and Des’s relationship is the strongest thing about this series. I love that their relationship isn’t cookie cutter, there is a darkness to it. They are partners and you can feel their love throughout this book and series. However, their all consuming relationship actually hurts the plot of Dark Harmony. Don’t get me wrong, I love smut as much as the next person but Callie and Des go on a vacation while a war is happening. The Thief of Souls is targeting Callie. Callie and Des are the only two who are going to be able to stop him. Two kingdoms have fallen and the sleeping army is destroying the Otherworld, yet Callie and Des just keep going for random romps around the world. It just felt so completely unbelievable. I also couldn’t really deal with every time the Thief of Souls appeared, telling Callie all the ways he wanted to rape and torture her. Like we get it, he’s despicable.

The ending doesn’t really make sense, and feels like a cop-out. This might change once I sit on this book for a couple more days. There still wasn’t any character development for Temper. I wish we had gotten a bit more of the outcome of the Otherworld, now that evil has been vanquished. I do absolutely adore how the Epilogue ended.

Overall, this was a disappointing ending. There was so much build up into how all powerful the Thief of Souls was, that the final resolution didn’t live up. I still love Callie and Des, their relationship is the soul of this book.

RATING: 3/5

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January TBR

Happy 2021! I hope everyone is having a safe and healthy start to the new year. Obviously a lot of 2021 is going to look like 2020, but don’t worry we still have books to keep us company!

I am a mood reader by nature, but I also have a ton of unread books sitting on my shelves. So I need to plan out at least some of my reads for the month.

#1 – Fable by Adrienne Young

This book has been all over bookstagram and I’m very excited to start reading this.

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men. Fable takes you on a spectacular journey filled with romance, intrigue, and adventure.

#2 – The Dating Plan by Sara Desai

As I’ve said before I’m a sucker for a good romance novel, and look at that gorgeous cover. This was my Book of the Month choice for January and I think it will be a nice little interlude between the amount of Fantasy novels I read every month.

“Even with a step-by-step plan, these fake fiances might accidentally fall for each other in this hilarious, heartfelt romantic comedy from the author of The Marriage Game.”

#3 – The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I am super excited to return to the Lux universe, and start this series. I really enjoyed the Lux series, and the world was so different than the things I normally read.

“#1 New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout returns to the universe of the Lux in this brand new series, featuring beloved characters both new and old.”

What are you reading in January? Let me know in the comments!

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WWW Wednesday – December 16th 2020

It’s another WWW Wednesday, and I’m answering the three questions below. Let me know your answers in the comments or share on your own blog!

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

In A Holidaze by Christina Lauren, this was my Book of the Month choice and I’m very excited to finally start reading it. It has a Groundhog Day-like plot involving a time loop just set around Christmas. I’m loving it so far.

What did you recently finish reading?

Just finished City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments #2) by Cassandra Clare. I am not loving this series so far, but I’ve also heard that the first three books are the weakest set in the Shadowhunters world. So I am pushing through. I requested City of Glass at my library, but I think I’m going to read a few books before I start that.

What do you think you will read next?

I think my next book is going to be Air Awakens by Elise Kova. It is book one in another fantasy series (I think I might have a problem). It sounds super interesting and it is featured through Kindle Unlimited. We will see how In A Holidaze has me feeling after I finish it, since that will really determine what I read next.

Let me know what you are reading!

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WWW Wednesday – December 9th, 2020

I saw this on Taking on a World of Words and just loved it so I’m continuing it here! You just answer the three questions below, you can share yours in the comments or feel free to spread the love to your blog.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

The Roommate by Rosie Danan, I just picked this up this morning and I already love it! I have a heard some really great things about this book and the premise is super interesting. I always like to read romances in between big fantasy novels. So this seemed like the perfect choice, also it has been sitting on my bookshelf for way too long.

What did you recently finish reading?

I just finished City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare yesterday. I have never read this series, and while I wasn’t completely in love with the storyline in this book, I really enjoyed the whole Shadowhunter world and I’m excited to see where it goes.

What do you think you will read next?

I think my next read will probably be City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments #2) by Cassandra Clare. I just picked it up from my library and I’m interested to see where this story goes. I want to get through the first three book of this series before I pick up another fantasy series.

Let me know what you are reading!

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Review: Rhapsodic (The Bargainer #1) by Laura Thalassa

SYNOPSIS (via Goodreads):

“Callypso Lillis is a siren with a very big problem, one that stretches up her arm and far into her past. For the last seven years she’s been collecting a bracelet of black beads up her wrist, magical IOUs for favors she’s received. Only death or repayment will fulfill the obligations. Only then will the beads disappear.

Everyone knows that if you need a favor, you go to the Bargainer to make it happen. He’s a man who can get you anything you want … at a price. And everyone knows that sooner or later he always collects.

But for one of his clients, he’s never asked for repayment. Not until now. When Callie finds the fae king of the night in her room, a grin on his lips and a twinkle in his eye, she knows things are about to change. At first it’s just a chaste kiss—a single bead’s worth—and a promise for more.

For the Bargainer, it’s more than just a matter of rekindling an old romance. Something is happening in the Otherworld. Fae warriors are going missing one by one. Only the women are returned, each in a glass casket, a child clutched to their breast. And then there are the whispers among the slaves, whispers of an evil that’s been awoken.

If the Bargainer has any hope to save his people, he’ll need the help of the siren he spurned long ago. Only, his foe has a taste for exotic creatures, and Callie just happens to be one.” 

REVIEW:

So this was recommended to me after I finished From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout and was looking to fill that void. It is a New Adult Fantasy Romance. This book was exactly what I needed right now, and after finishing it I definitely want to read other books by Laura Thalassa.

Fair warning, the topics of rape, sexual assault, and abuse in general are a recurring topic throughout this book, and I would assume the series.

Rhapsodic hooks you in right from the start, the set up is just perfect. Throughout the book we alternate time lines. Present time, and seven years ago when The Bargainer (or Desmond) and Callie first met. This really helps to build their relationship and you discover how important Desmond and Callie are to each other. The book’s strongest feature is their relationship. I absolutely loved it and it gets bit steamy which is also great.

I wish there had been more world building in this novel. I wanted to know so much more about the Otherworld and the magic beings in general. This book just gave an overview or basic understanding so you wouldn’t be completely confused once the action moved there. I’m hoping that this world will be expanded on in the other books, so fingers crossed for more world building. Besides Callie and Desmond the other characters in the story aren’t really fleshed out which I think hurts it a little as well. That being said, I still really enjoyed this book and couldn’t put it down. This also caused me to fly through this book too.

Overall, if you are a fan of Sarah J. Maas or Jennifer L. Armentrout, you will enjoy this book. Honestly, I’m a sucker for Fantasy with some romance mixed in and if you are to, you should check this out.

RATING: 4/5

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Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Bridget Kemmerer

SYNOPSIS (via goodreads):

“Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.

Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.”

REVIEW:

At this point in my life, I will give any retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairytale a shot. It’s one of my favorite stories so honestly, it never really disappoints. So I, of course, needed to read A Curse So Dark and Lonely. Harper is a fierce heroine, who has cerebral palsy. I mention this because she doesn’t let her disability define her, and I think she is also the first YA Fantasy heroine I’ve read that has this disability which is incredible. This is very exciting for representation. She walks with a limp, and often gets sore and achy after doing physical activity. Her disability is not a main focus, and sometimes I wish she would have talked about it a bit more with Rhen and Grey, but I also enjoyed that they didn’t make it a defining feature.

Rhen and Harper have great chemistry, and the story really gives their relationship time to grow. Their development of trust feels genuine and isn’t rushed. I enjoyed that Rhen was bit different from other “beasts” that we’ve seen. He is a decent and genuine person, who through his upbringing found himself in this situation. He understands that he has made mistakes, but he has grown from them and learned. A lot of the time the “beasts” in other re-tellings have a temper and that’s the beast is a manifestation of that, which is what makes this telling so interesting. There is the hinting of a love triangle between Grey/Harper/Rhen, with Grey and Harper developing a friendship first. This love triangle doesn’t take over the book which was wonderful. I do have to say, I kinda preferred Grey/Harper than Harper/Rhen, but I’m excited to see how their relationship develops.

Overall, this book is really well done. The story is well paced and the characters and their relationships are well developed. I definitely recommend if you love YA Fantasy or fairytale retellings.

RATING: 4/5