Blog Tour, ARC Review, & Giveaway: Born of Nothing By Jill Ramsower

Blog Tour, ARC Review, & Giveaway: Born of Nothing By Jill Ramsower

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Title: Born of Nothing
Author:Jill Ramsower
Series: The Fae Games #4
Publication date: March 5th 2019
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Available: Amazon
Add to Goodreads


cl- about the book

It was over before it began.

A druid woman and a Fae man—we were two people from different worlds, only by chance did our paths happen to cross. He was beautiful and damaged and totally captivating. If only I could have continued to buy into the propaganda of fear and hate my people had taught me about the Fae, then maybe I would have believed him to be the savage he appeared to be.

Instead, I offered the cryptic man my help. The time I spent with him allowed me to see the man he was behind the chiseled, formal exterior. What developed between us was tender, intimate, and totally unexpected.

My druid family was not as enlightened as I was. My mom didn’t want me near the Fae; she certainly never would have understood that I had developed feelings for a Fae man. I tried to keep my private life a secret. I tried to keep the peace, but my mother’s threats and intolerance left me with no choice. I had to make the hardest decision of my life. I had to leave the only family I’d ever known. I just never imagined what I’d face when I didn’t make it out in time…


cl- about the author

Jill is a Texan, born and raised. She manages the hectic social calendars for her three active children and occasionally spends an evening with her dashing husband. Aside from being an author and a mom, she’s an attorney, traveljunkie, and voracious reader.

Contact

Website/Facebook/Goodreads/Twitter


cl- my review
The Fae Games series has been a series filled with twists and turns from the get-go. The first two books lay down the foundation with Rebecca Peterson traveling to Belfast, Ireland with the dream of working at a local museum. Once believed to be a normal human woman, she discovers the world of the Fae and finds out her part in a brewing Fae war.
The third book is more of the first book part 2 where it focuses on Ashley, Rebecca’s best friend, who originally traveled to Belfast with Rebecca to get her settled in before going back home. However, it appeared the Fae world is also influenced by Ashley’s presence through Michael, Rebecca’s boyfriend Lochland’s right hand man.
Fast forward to book 4, we are now turning our attention to Cat, the druid witch who works with Rebecca at the museum. Her family was once hunted and murdered by Fae and the remaining members went underground, disguising their identities and practicing their magic in secret. Cat has tried to keep her head down, adhering to her mothers’ rules and staying out of Fae issues that seem to haunt Rebecca’s door. Tried. 
Enter in Fen, recently released from his Shadow Play prison, who once saw Cat as a reincarnated version of the human who was the perpetrator that had him sent to prison in the first place. Time is a funny thing though as Fen gets over his pre-conceived notions as him and Cat begin to fall in love, putting Cat in a very tough place. Her mother is terrible, let’s get that out there right now. She’s overbearing, controlling, and many other words that I could list but don’t have time too. She is arranging a marriage between Cat and another druid male who has nefarious plans in store for Cat.
I fell in love with Fen and Cat’s romance and enjoyed continuing to explore the Fae Games world. This addition is a step up from the others. I think it’s because I instantly wanted to get to know more about Cat from minute one. She’s snippy, witty, and you cannot help but want the best for her.
Definitely pick up this series! You won’t be disappointed!
Rating 8


cl- giveaway

Want a Chance to Win a Signed Copy of Born of Nothing, a swag pack, and a $25 Amazon gift card?

Enter Giveaway Here!

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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XPresso Book Tours Blog Blitz: Kingdom of Salt & Sirens

XPresso Book Tours Blog Blitz: Kingdom of Salt & Sirens

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Title: Kingdom of Salt & Sirens Boxed Set
Author(s): J.A Armitage
R. Castro
Jennifer Ellision
Mira Crest
K.M Pyne
Laura Greenwood
Jacque Stevens
Scarlett Kol
Anne Stryker
Nikki Landis
Tracy Korn
Publication Date: March 5th, 2019
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult
Available: Amazon
Add to Goodreads


ag- about the book

The Little Mermaid but not as you remember it…

Beneath the turbulent seas, beyond the smokey depths, lies a Kingdom that exists in your wildest imagination. A world where mermaids swim, sirens sing and shipwrecks hide mysterious creatures.
Make waves with our 11 magical retellings of the timeless classic, The Little Mermaid.

Dive into a world filled with adventure, love and magic!

One click now for your happily ever after.


ag- giveaway

Want to Win a Little Mermaid Prize Pack?

Enter Giveaway Here!

 

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Blog Tour & Sweepstakes: The Dysasters By P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Blog Tour & Sweepstakes: The Dysasters By P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

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Title: The Dysasters
Author(s): P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Release Date: February 26th, 2019
Available: Amazon/Audible/B&N/Books-A-Million/Google Play/iBooks/IndieBound/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

*I’d like to thank St. Martin’s Press and Wednesday books for the invitation to participate in this Tour and for providing me an ARC copy of the novel.*


 

ag- about the book

Adoptive daughter of a gifted scientist, Foster Stewart doesn’t live a “normal” life, (not that she’d want to). But controlling cloud formations and seeing airwaves aren’t things most eighteen year olds can do.

Small town star quarterback and quintessential dreamy boy next door, Tate “Nighthawk” Taylor has never thought much about his extra abilities. Sure, his night vision comes in handy during games, but who wouldn’t want that extra edge?

From the moment Foster and Tate collide, their worlds spiral and a deadly tornado forces them to work together, fully awakening their not-so-natural ability – the power to control air. As they each deal with the tragic loss of loved ones, they’re caught by another devastating blow – they are the first in a group of teens genetically manipulated before birth to bond with the elements, and worse… they’re being hunted.

Now, Foster and Tate must fight to control their abilities as they learn of their past, how they came to be, who’s following them, and what tomorrow will bring… more DYSASTERS?


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ag- about the author

P.C. Cast was born in the Midwest, and, after her tour in the USAF, she taught high school for 15 years before retiring to write full time. PC is a member of the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame. Her novels have been awarded the prestigious: Oklahoma Book Award, YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, Booksellers’ Best, and many, many more. Ms. Cast is an experienced teacher and talented speaker who lives in Oregon near her fabulous daughter, her adorable pack of dogs, her crazy Maine Coon, and a bunch of horses.
Kristin Cast is a #1 New York Times and #1 USA Today bestselling author who teams with her mother to write the wildly successful House of Night series. She has editorial credits, a thriving t-shirt line, and a passion for all things paranormal. When away from her writing desk, Kristin loves going on adventures with her friends, family, and significant other, playing with her dogs (Grace Kelly and Hobbs the Tiny Dragon), and is currently obsessed with her baby.


ag- my review

Ok, so this is one of those books where you either love it or you hate it. If you are middle ground, it’s hard to determine whether or not the pros outweigh the cons and vice versa. The premise is solid and the idea behind the story is brilliant; however, the execution, character development, descriptions, etc.. – all of that will make or break your vision.

Foster, Tate, Charlotte, and Bastien others were originally created by a mad scientist who tampered with their embryos post-fertilization. Upon which, they enhanced the character’s genetics and created teens who control the elements: mainly air and water. They were separated and spread out across the world and are being hunted by their creator and his other experiment children who are, surprisingly, named after Biblical characters (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Eve).

Foster and Tate meet right before a tornado strikes Tate’s football game and changes both their lives completely. It turned out with their powers accidentally combining, they created a round of tornadoes that killed Tate’s parents and Foster’s mentor Cora. From there, they go on the run in search for Charlotte and Bastien, their other experiment siblings.

I was a huge fan of the author’s works growing up with the Marked series, so maybe I was looking for the in-depth character development from that for this, but it was lacking. I understand that Foster is constantly on the run and never truly connected with other teens, but that is not an excuse for her to treat Tate terribly just because he was a jock. And Tate’s reaction to her isn’t much better. I’m all for the “friendemies-turned-lover” trope, but it doesn’t fit with Foster and Tate. Their first meeting seemed borderline flirtatious/hostile, but it grew more toward hostile in the beginning of the novel.

The periodic graphic novel addition to enhance the superhero/comic book feel meant well, but they needed a better artist. The art seemed a bit over-dramatic at times. For the future, I suggest they change the artist and pay more attention to detail.

This series has potential, it does. But in order to do so, character development is a must and a greater attention to continuity detail. I won’t go into that issue due to spoilers.Is it worth picking up and reading? I say keep an open mind. You’ll either love it or hate it.


SWEEPSTAKES

Enter Here for a chance to win 1 of 20 hardcover copies of The Dysasters!

Winners will be selected at random.

Abbreviated Rules: No purchase necessary. Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia or Canada (excluding Quebec) who are age 13 years of age or older. Entry period begins at 12:00 a.m. (ET) on Sunday, February 24, 2019 and ends at 11:59 PM ET on Sunday, March 10, 2019. Void where prohibited. For full Official Rules, visit https://read.macmillan.com/promo/thedysastersblogtoursweepstakes.

Sponsored by St. Martin’s Press, 175 5th Ave 10010.

 

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Rating 5

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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ARC Review: Prince of Midnight By Ana Calin

ARC Review: Prince of Midnight By Ana Calin

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Title: Prince of Midnight
Series: Dracula’s Bloodline #1
Author: Ana Calin
Release Date: December 18th, 2018
Available: Amazon
Add to Goodreads

*I received an ARC copy via Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review in any way.*

ag- about the book

Let me tell you a secret – Dracula had a brother. This is true. They called him Radu the Handsome, but his beauty was deceiving, and it hid a deadly secret…

With high ambitions as a journalist, Juliet Jochs travels to the Carpathians to investigate a mysterious and unnaturally beautiful prince. She suspects that he’s a dangerous man, and that this mission may cost her life. But, as the prince’s masks begin to peel off, she fears she may lose her sanity.

Prince Radek’s dark powers suck Juliet into a whirl of hypnotic desire–no woman has ever resisted his lures. But something is different about her, special, and he’s growing dangerously addicted to her. She must keep her head above the water if she is to save herself, run away and not look back before he consumes her completely. But can she resist opening the last door to his most terrible secret?

 

ag- my review

We all know the story of Vlad the Impaler aka Dracula. The various adaptions from book to screen aside from the historical facts versus the legend – some of us readers and viewers cannot get enough of this character nor his offspring. Although, books do not mention any facts about his brother, Radu cel Frumos or Radu the Handsome.

The legend of Radu or rumor, if you will, is quite interesting to say the least. While Vlad received the craving of blood and curse of immortality, Radu is cursed with physical beauty until the cover of night where he must wear a mask to disclose his true facial form. If any mortal looks upon his true face, they are cursed with the black plague and die a slow, painful death.

Author Ana Calin builds upon the rarely spoken of brother of the Prince of Darkness and creates a character with his own immortal dark tale of romance and horror. Radu, or Radek Basarab is known as one of the most eligible millionaire bachelors in all of the world. With his background and business practices shrouded in mystery, journalist Juliet Jochs is aimed at solving it and practically sold to him by her company in order to discover then exploit her findings. However, Juliet quickly discovers she gets more than what she bargained for the moment she is transferred to Transylvania and takes up residence within the walls of Dracula’s castle.

The more time she spends at the castle, she notices disappearing hallways, strange noises, and the Prince acting very strange. Now, Juliet started off at being built up to be an independent woman with a mind of her own and sharp wit, but the more time she spends around the Prince, she notices time seems to slip away as well as her energy. Her relationship with him began flirtatious then transforms into something more addicting, and obsessively sexual pretty quickly. Very soon, they become overly attached to one another and the Prince’s dark secret is reveals, but something else is revealed.

He is like an Incubus, in a way, but he isn’t. He sucks out the life-force of the women he’s been with in order to sustain his immortality and beauty. Much like his brother only without the blood and he has to wear a mask at night. His attraction to Juliet is something he is not used too. Not because she is the only woman who has made him feel anything remote to “love”, but Juliet somehow has the ability to make him whole and reduces the impact of his dark power.

The story moves rather quickly with these two, a little too quickly for my personal taste. The legend of Radu is intriguing and I wanted to learn more about it before the romance kicked in. It was as if the legend was put on the back burner most of the time and the romance over-powered it. These two did not have enough conversations or even spent much time together before getting physical and falling for one another. Some readers may like that in their paranormal romance novels, but I like the gradual build up approach. And when it came to the turning point of the novel where the antagonists began to came out of the woodwork, it was close to the end of the novel.

Do I want to see what will happen between Juliet and Radek? Yes, but I’d like for the sequel to cut back on the rush of romance and give me more exposition between the characters and more action.

If you are a fan of Dracula, try his brother for a night!

Rating 6

Quick ARC Review – This Thing Called Life: Race, Sex, Religion, and the Creative Revolution of Prince By Joseph Vogel

Quick ARC Review – This Thing Called Life: Race, Sex, Religion, and the Creative Revolution of Prince By Joseph Vogel

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*Disclaimer – I received an ARC Copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever*

 

inn- my review

I remember as a little girl watching Prince’s “Purple Rain” and listening to “When Doves Cry” in the car on my way to school. Even though I was a 90s child, there was something about Prince that caught my attention then and even now at twenty – six. As I’m sitting here, writing this before getting ready for a photo shoot, I’m blaring “Rasberry Beret” in the background, nodding my head to the beat and swaying.

The intensity this one man brought to the world of music and entertainment, period in my opinion, will never be over-shadowed. He didn’t put himself only into his own music but instead inspired and brought other artists into the limelight and taught us that no matter who you are – we always have a song within us needed to be sung and experienced. The ability to read this book, gave me a deeper insight to who Prince was.

Most biographies I’ve read were about various artists (Pat Benatar, Eric Clapton, etc.) and co-written by the individuals themselves. Prince was well-known as being a very private person and in his own right. He held strict beliefs and standards most musicians would not hold in place. I’m not going into major details about this book because you need to read it for yourself.

The author splits this book into seven themes based on Prince’s favorite number: each going into detail about aspects in his life that paved his way and how they effected the music and community from the 80s-onward. It jumps back and forth through times so unlike average biographies, this does not have a concrete timeline to follow. That can be frustrating for some readers but it didn’t really bother me that much.

The author backs up his findings and insights with citing his sources and listed them all in the back for our reference which backs up his opinions. The more I read, the more I wanted to look into the other references he listed to get more information. To understand a mysterious man such as Prince, you have too.

I am thankful to have read this and despite Prince being gone, his voice, life, and legacy continue to live on through his music and the lives he has touched.

Rating 8

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.
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ARC Review: Illusions By Madeline J. Reynolds

ARC Review: Illusions By Madeline J. Reynolds

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Title: Illusions
Author: Madeline J. Reynolds
Release Date: November 11th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Indie Bookstore
Add to Goodreads

*I received an ARC copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever*

ag- about the bookThomas Pendelton was born into wealth and prestige. He has a sensitive heart and wants nothing more than to write poetry. Instead, he is apprenticing for Neville Wighton the Great, an aging magician who has become somewhat crazed over the years in his pursuit of fame. With Thomas’ help, Wighton is about to premiere the greatest illusion seen by man, for Thomas possesses something no other illusionist has: real magic.                                                      

Many in the theatrical world are desperate to learn Wighton’s big secret. One such magician is Paolo il Magnifico. His apprentice, Saverio Moretti, is also seeking the answer. He has a scheme to get close to Wighton by seducing Thomas but seduction turns to real feelings. Now the young men must struggle to keep the secret of their romance, as well as the secret of Thomas’ magic, as both of these things could cost Thomas his life.


ag- my review

Rival Illusionists, one more talented than the other, two apprentices eager to learn from the best but willing to do what it takes to be better than the rest – makes you wonder who will be superior to end up on top, right? On the surface, that’s the kind of story you’d expect when it comes to a tale about fading illusionists. The author, though, takes a turn on your average illusionist tale by instead of focusing on the magical aspect, she relied heavily on the romance between the two apprentices, Thomas and Saverio.

Thomas, apprentice to the famous illutionist Neville Wighton the Great, holds the secret to his success – Thomas is actually the real one with magic. Except, Thomas doesn’t want to have anything to do with his abilities. Neville’s rival, Paolo il Magnifico, is tired of being slighted and seeks to discover the secret by sending his apprentice to seduce Thomas. Only, what at first was originally a seduction with nefarious means, slowly transforms into a “goals” romance.

The majority of this book is told through various diary entries between the characters Thomas and Saverio, photos, letters, and newspaper clippings. You can see the transformation of Thomas and Saverio’s feelings as well as their struggles and it brought me on the verge to tears at time. This is a historical LGBQ+ romance novel worth delving into!

Rating 9

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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ARC Review: After Always By: Barbara J. Hancock

ARC Review: After Always By: Barbara J. Hancock

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Title: After Always
Author: Barbara J. Hancock
Release Date: October 1st, 2018
Available: Kobo/B&N
Add to Goodreads

*I received an ARC copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever*


ag- about the book

Lydia Li’s life ended when Tristan died. At least, that’s how it felt. Sure, they had problems and he could be a little…intense…at times, but he’d loved her. He was the Romeo to her Juliet… And now he was gone.

When her parents get her to agree to a summer across the country with a music teacher who runs an inn, Lydia agrees. But it’s different than what she expected. There’s something else there. Something that feels a lot like Tristan. But that’s impossible, right?

Then there’s Michael Malone, the quiet guy who’s Tristan’s opposite in every way. And Lydia can’t help but be drawn to him…and whatever the house is hiding.


ag- my review

With YA Thrillers, they seem to be a hit or miss for me, especially if romance is tied into it as well. This book holds a strong in every department I look for in a thriller. Despite a couple weak spots here and there, it’s a great tale of romance, healing, growth, and contains a compelling mystery.

Lydia is mourning the loss of her boyfriend Tristan. We listen to her tale of what her and her past relationship was through what we initially perceived as a perfect romance, but in reality, it was abusive and full of darkness. What is initially painted by Lydia to what seemed an overly obsessive relationship on her part, turns out she was a victim in the end. Lydia is used to a relationship filled with fear from Tristan’s physical abuse and manipulative ways while remaining devoted all because of her personal views on love.

Her parents finally believe Lydia needs a change of scenery and allow her to go away for the summer to stay in a mansion. Upon arriving, she meets Michael who is basically the healthy, compassionate opposite of what Lydia is used too. Their relationship begins as co-workers to friends and leads to more, however, Lydia is not used to a healthy relationship. Her self-growth and healing in this story is wonderful. Michael is a love, I could not get enough of him.

The paranormal aspects of this novel were an added bonus to this story. On the sole plot foundation, it read as a Contemporary novel then next thing you know you’re faced with a supernatural mystery tied into it. All in all, all elements come together in the end to keep you on your toes.

I could not get enough of this book and it was beautiful to see a broken character like Lydia find the power within herself to grow and pursue forward in a healthy manner with someone else who truly feeds her soul with love and kindness.

Rating 8

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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ARC Review: Watch You Burn By Amanda Searcy

ARC Review: Watch You Burn By Amanda Searcy

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Title: Watch You Burn
Author: Amanda Searcy
Release Date: October 23rd, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N
Add to Goodreads

*I received an ARC copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever*

hs- about the book

Jenny didn’t want to move to the creepy, possibly haunted town with her dad. But the cops are on to her, and the only way she can protect herself is by moving as far away from her hometown as possible and staying out of trouble.

But even after she moves, Jenny still gets the itch. The itch to light a match and then watch it burn.

It’s something she hasn’t been able to stop, ever since an accident years ago. Now, in a new town, Jenny has the strange feeling that someone is watching her every move. Will her arsonist ways be exposed? Or is the burning truth deep inside her a greater danger?

 


 

hs- my review

 This book is a mixed bag of feelings for me. Jenny is a highly unreliable character with a taste for fire, lies to cover her tracks, and danger follows her everywhere she goes. It took me awhile for to get into due to the fact nothing really happened till almost halfway through the book which was disappointing.

This story had a lot of promise due to the fact Jenny was trying to get a new start with her father in a new town after causing trouble in her former hometown and causing a police investigation because of her love of setting fires. Despite the fresh start, Jenny is a pure brat. I felt no sympathy for her whatsoever. The fact murders begin to occur around her new home were connected to her past crimes – I was anxiously awaiting the reveal of who was behind it all. Although, for me, it was predictable at midpoint and I wasn’t interested in going much farther.

I’m into YA Thrillers, but this one needed work. I didn’t fully believe Jenny wanted a fresh start. A character wanting to change will try harder to do so. Instead, she didn’t change, not really. She kept her fire addiction at bay, yes, but she needed to change her whole attitude. I can’t get behind a character like Jenny, I can’t and for that I didn’t give this a high rating. The whole story needed help. I didn’t feel it like I normally do with thrillers.

Try it if you wish, but I don’t think I’ll be re-reading this one anytime soon….

 

Rating 2

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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ARC Review: Love, Cutter By Michelle Jetter

ARC Review: Love, Cutter By Michelle Jetter

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Title: Love, Cutter
Author: Michelle Jester
Release Date: August 27th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N
Add to Goodreads

*I received an ARC copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever*

es- about the book

After an attempted suicide Carter finds himself in a coma. He is able to hear the world around him, yet he can’t move. What he hears propels Carter to begin to see life in a new way, especially when one of his nurses, Kinley, shares parts of her tragic past with him. Soon, Carter realizes he is falling in love with her.

Months after being transferred from the hospital, to a rehabilitation facility, he suddenly wakes up with a passion to live that he never had before and a determination to find the one person he feels may be able to help him put the pieces of his life together again. However, when he returns to the hospital, Kinley is gone and Carter must try to find her based solely on the things she shared with him while he was in a coma.

Only, nothing is as it seems and Carter learns the biggest lesson of them all… the differences between expectation, perception, and reality.


es- my review

**Warning – this book contains content involving self-harm, suicide, and mental illness**

This subject matter is a tough subject for me. I have a dark past when it comes to my battle with depression and have had thoughts of suicide before from my illness. Seeing it transferred to the pages of the book and seeing it through the eyes of a character can be extremely heartbreaking at times due to the fact that I know those feelings way too well. I’ve heard so many times in my life to “get over it” or “that’s how life is, you need thicker skin”. The cold hearted truth is depression isn’t something you sugar coat and ignore and no amount of thick skin can make things easier when your mental skies are grey while the sun is shining for others.

Carter is battling his own demons of depression by trying to be who his family expects him to be, regardless of how he feels. His inner darkness takes the wheel and attempts suicide. He survives, thankfully, however, spends a good portion of the book in a coma. While asleep, he witnesses his families cries of sorrow, apologies, hopes for a better future together – but only one voice out of all of them brings him out of it. Her name is Kinley. Through the coma haze, his nurse bonds with him and in return wakes Carter from his slumber.

You’d think this was a Hallmark movie by how that sounded only it’s not as easy as you’d think. Kinley is transferred before Carter wakes up and it sends him searching for him. The most important story, to me, is not the romance that springs up because of it. No, it’s Carter discovering his inner light through the darkness that Kinley merely lit just a little in order for him to grow brighter and brighter.

This is a story of love, growth, mental health awareness, and hope. The type of story you wish you’d hear become reality. If you suffer from depression or another mental illness – you are never alone. Never give up and always keep fighting.

Rating 8

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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ARC Review: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Seek By Anthony O’Neill

ARC Review: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Seek By Anthony O’Neill

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Title: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Seek
Author: Anthony O’Neill
Release Date: October 2nd, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N
Add to Goodreads

*I received an ARC copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever*

ag- about the book

In this dark, atmospheric sequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s timeless classic, the strange case continues with the return of Dr. Jekyll . . . Seven years after the death of Edward Hyde, a stylish gentleman shows up in foggy London claiming to be Dr. Henry Jekyll. Only Mr. Utterson, Jekyll’s faithful lawyer and confidant, knows that he must be an impostor–because Jekyll was Hyde.

But as the man goes about charming Jekyll’s friends and reclaiming the estate, and as the bodies of potential challengers start piling up, Utterson is left fearing for his life . . . and questioning his own sanity.

 

ag- my review

Image result for dr. jekyll and mr. hyde

We all know the tragic yet cautionary tale of Dr. Henry Jekyll who brewed his potion that transformed him into the monstrous Mr. Hyde. Shows you that sometimes the monster within brought out by your addictions can lead to your own demise. This short story takes place seven years after the events of the original and is as shrouded in darkness as the original.

Bodies begin to pile up again after a mysterious figure claiming to be Henry comes out of the shadows, we follow Mr. Utterson as he tries to uncover the truth. Is Henry still alive? Or maybe, just maybe, Mr. Utterson has more to hide than meets the eye?

The author does a fantastic job bringing back the dark atmosphere from the original and catching us up-to-date on the events since Dr. Jekyll’s death. However, his handling of Mr. Utterson was much to be desired. I won’t spoil it except it’s as if he has a personality change from the original to this sequel.

Do I think it was a good sequel? It was adequate, but he needed to research Utterson more.

To those who enjoyed the original tale, I recommend this but do so lightly or you may get offended by how characters were brought back.

 

Rating 6

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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ARC Review: Changeling By Molly Harper

ARC Review: Changeling By Molly Harper

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Title: Changeling
Author: Molly Harper
Series: Sorcery and Society #1
Release Date: August 22nd, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/
Add to Goodreads

*I received an ARC copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever*

ag- about the book

If 14-year-old Cassandra Reed makes it through her first day at Miss Castwell’s Institute for the Magical Instruction of Young Ladies without anyone discovering her secret, maybe, just maybe, she’ll let herself believe that she really does belong at Miss Castwell’s.

Except Cassandra Reed’s real name is Sarah Smith and up until now, she lived her whole life in the Warren, serving a magical family, the Winters, as all non-magical “Snipes” are bound by magical Guardian law to do. That is, until one day, Sarah accidentally levitates Mrs. Winter’s favorite vase in the parlor…

But Snipes aren’t supposed to have magical powers…and the existence of a magical Snipe threatens the world order dictated during the Guardians’ Restoration years ago. If she wants to keep her family safe and protect her own skin, Sarah must figure out how to fit into posh Guardian society, master her newfound magical powers and discover the truth about how an ordinary girl can become magical.

ag- my review

Molly Harper. I began my love for this author a few years ago when I binge read her Nice Girls series. I’m originally from Kentucky and when I was in college at the time going through the vampire book craze I heard about books about a librarian turned vampire set in the Kentucky with a handsome sire – sign…me…up! I still periodically re-read them and their spin-off series, Half Moon Hollow. I knew the moment I came across her new YA book set in a steampunk Victorian England setting involving magic, I HAD to check it out.

Sarah Smith is a young teen living with her family who are servants to a magically gifted family. In her world, non-magical citizens, “Snipes”, live to serve the magical guardians that are appointed to them via the Ministry of magic aka “Guardian of Law”.

To them, it is considered dangerous for the world to be operated by snipes and guardians are more fit to rule due to their magical abilities. Thus, snipes live for one purpose only – to serve their protectors. Imagine Harry Potter only if the magical community took over.

Sarah isn’t the healthiest in her family and thus was initially considered a liability to their work. Over time, Sarah began to cease taking them and out of the blue her powers resurfaced, by accident, in front of her guardians. The Winters, her guardians, come up with an idea to change her name to “Cassandra Reed” and send her off to the “Miss Castwell’s Institute for the Magical Instruction of Young Ladies” boarding school for her to learn more about her abilities and manners.

This book is like a combination of several stories, including Harry Potter. I’m not knocking it for it, but it seemed quite similar. The main differences are the students have familiars in the form of shapeshifting servants, the houses within the school only contain descendants from the original families, and there was a possible romance thrown in. And, of course, the characters have the witty conversations and lovable personalities only Molly Harper can write.

I can’t wait to see where this world leads to and watch Cassandra’s journey continue…

 

Rating 7

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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ARC Review: Wild Hunger By Chloe Neill

ARC Review: Wild Hunger By Chloe Neill

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Title: Wild Hunger
Author: Chloe Neill
Series: Heirs of Chicagoland #1
Release Date: August 14th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Google Play/Indie Bound
Add to Goodreads

*I received an ARC copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever*

ag- about the book

As the only vampire child ever born, some believed Elisa Sullivan had all the luck. But the magic that helped bring her into the world left her with a dark secret. Shifter Connor Keene, the only son of North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, is the only one she trusts with it. But she’s a vampire and the daughter of a Master and a Sentinel, and he’s prince of the Pack and its future king.

When the assassination of a diplomat brings old feuds to the fore again, Elisa and Connor must choose between love and family, between honor and obligation, before Chicago disappears forever.

ag- my review

I reviewed the first two books of the original series a few months ago. You can take a look at it here. I’ve caught up with the series and will be writing reviews soon. I had a love-hate relationships with the series. Merit and Ethan’s relationship and story is drawn out and many of the books could have been put together as one novel instead of separate ones. In the end, though, it all led up to the peace amongst paranormal creatures and the public along with the magical birth of Elisa Sullivan, born of two vampires.

Our main characters take the back seat while their progeny are shoved to the forefront. It’s nice seeing them pop up, but it’s nice not to focus on them anymore. This first novel mainly focuses on Elisa and Conner Keene, the son of heir of the North American Central werewolf pack.

Elisa was born of magic and has her own personal strugglers. Sent away to a boarding school in Paris at a young age, she is trained to soon possibly replace her father as the leader of his house. I found major similarities between Elisa’s character development with Merit, her mother, in the other series. They have similar senses of humor, hidden secrets about their dual natures, and even their attraction to forbidden men – it’s uncanny. I felt like I was reading about Merit again – not a separate character.

The banter between Elisa and Conner reminds me of those two kids who grew up together picking on one another and never fully got over it – only their relationship eventually transforms throughout the novel. Conner’s pull toward Elisa surprises him but you gradually understand why as the novel continues.

The main conflict surrounds the Far coming out of their area in order to make impossibly demands and due to them, they begin to retaliate in the worst ways possible. This then rocks the other paranormal entities peaceful alliances, causing chaos that Elisa and Conner need to figure out how to fix.

This is only the first novel in the new series, but it feels like I never left the world. If you are a fan of the series – check this out. If you are on rocky grounds with the original but still iffy on trying it out,  I say try to give it a chance regardless.

 

Rating 7

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Quick End of the Year Recap – 2019 Resolutions

Quick End of the Year Recap – 2019 Resolutions

It’s the end of 2018 everyone!

 

 

This year, challenges rose in many areas of my life. I started a new side passion through freelance modeling earlier this year and it continues to grow. I still work at my day job while helping in my local community in various ways as well. I even had the opportunity to be an editor on an author friend’s prequel to her main series she’s working on.

Book wise, though, it has been a struggle this year and never thought I’d say that. I have gone through more reading slumps than I had for awhile. I’ve even gotten very behind on my reviews due to things going on with my family and personal goals.

2019 will be a big year for me. I’ll be turning my focus back to my blog and my writing. I’m currently working on a novel I’ve added to off and on the last two years. My goal is to have it complete by May and find an editor to take a look at it.

 

Reading goals – I’m going to keep my goal low this next year, maybe around 100. I tried to do 200 books and I fell short…..fifty books short. Not saying I’ll exceed personally expectations, but it’s better to keep the goal low and aim higher as the year progresses.

Modeling – I’ll try to keep you all posted on how the journey goes. If you want to keep in the loop outside of here, feel free to follow me on my Instagram page! I’ll also post plenty of pictures of books and other goodies on there as well and my IG story.

Since today is one of the last days of 2018, I’m going through a review storm of sorts! All throughout the day, I’ll be catching up on various reviews and may sneak in a few book tags or two. Keep your eye out!

 

What are your New Years Resolutions?

What are your Reading Goals?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Q&A with Author Cindy Fazzi!

Q&A with Author Cindy Fazzi!

Hi Everyone!

Last week, I had the honor of reviewing and participating in the blog tour My MacArthur by author Cindy Fazzi!

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We had a small Q&A and here it is – enjoy!


Q: What was the inspiration for writing this book?

Cindy Fazzi: Isabel Rosario Cooper inspired My MacArthur. When I was a college student in Manila, I read a number of history books about General Douglas MacArthur and they all mentioned in passing his relationship with Isabel. MacArthur was larger-than-life in the Philippines, so I was really intrigued by this young woman who became MacArthur’s romantic obsession.

 

Q: If you could go back in time, would you go back to the 20s to watch some of the events of your book take place or what time period would you go to and why?

Cindy Fazzi: If I could go back in time, I would go back further than 1920s. My favorite period is the late 1800s. I wrote a novel that pre-dates My MacArthur. It’s called Three Sorrows, a love triangle set in 1898, when the Americans colonized the Philippines. Douglas MacArthur’s father, Lieutenant General Arthur MacArthur, is mentioned in Three Sorrows because he was the military governor-general in the Philippines at that time. Arthur greatly influenced his son Douglas’s love for the Philippines.

Three Sorrows remains unpublished today. A number of literary agents told me it wasn’t commercial enough. So I went back to my lingering interest in the MacArthur-Cooper affair. I was always interested in the story, but I couldn’t muster the courage to write it for the longest time because Douglas MacArthur intimidated me. The pang of rejections from Three Sorrows pushed me to finally write My MacArthur because I realized it more commercially viable.

 

Q: Are you working on any new books?

Cindy Fazzi: Yes. I’m rewriting a manuscript I first wrote in 1995. This is the third time I’m completely revamping this novel. It’s about a missing illegal immigrant, a Filipino woman, and the bounty hunter who’s committed to finding her.

 

Q: Will your future books remain in the historical genre or will they be in another genre?

Cindy Fazzi: I mentioned Three Sorrows, another historical novel. I hope a publisher would acquire it one of these days. I do write in different genres out of necessity. I was compelled to do it because it was so hard to sell historical fiction. Two romance novels I wrote after My MacArthur were published first. I wrote a guest blog post about writing in different genres as a way to adapt to a very competitive publishing landscape, if you’re interested in the topic.

I’ve completed a novel called The Lark, which I’m trying to place. It’s about an American woman who’s obsessed with the mysterious illegal Mexican immigrant who saved her life. Both The Lark and my work in progress, about the missing Filipino woman, are contemporary thrillers. Both novels focus on illegal immigration in the United States.

 

Q: Here at Charmed Book Haven Reviews, the books are rated by what I like to call “Charms”. The Charm of Intelligence, The Charm of Learning, The Charm of Character, The Charm of Agility, The Charm of Romance, The Charm of Worthiness, The Charm of Necessity, The Charm of Imagery, The Charm of Believability, and The Charm of Everlasting – if you could be any of these Book Charms, what would it be?

Cindy Fazzi: Wow, they’re all great charms! I like The Charm of Everlasting best. I hope My MacArthur is memorable enough to merit the “everlasting” tag. Thanks for having me on your blog and for highlighting My MacArthur.


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Get your Copy Today!

Available: Amazon/B&N

Add to Goodreads

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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WOW! Women on Writing Blog Tour & ARC Review: My MacArthur By Cindy Fazzi

WOW! Women on Writing Blog Tour & ARC Review: My MacArthur By Cindy Fazzi

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Title: My MacArthur
Author: Cindy Fazzi
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: November 1st, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N
Add to Goodreads

hs- about the book

The year is 1930. The place: Manila. Douglas MacArthur is the most powerful man in the Philippines, a United States colony. He’s fifty years old, divorced, and he falls in love at first sight with a ravishing young Filipino woman. He writes her a love note on the spot. Her name is Isabel Rosario Cooper, an aspiring movie actress. One glance at his note and she thinks of him as my MacArthur.

MacArthur pursues his romantic obsession even though he’s breaking numerous taboos. She reciprocates his affection because he could open doors for her financially struggling family. That MacArthur happens to be handsome compensates for the fact that he’s as old as her father.

When MacArthur is appointed the U.S. Army chief of staff, he becomes the youngest four-star general and one of America’s most powerful men. Out of hubris, he takes Isabel with him to America without marrying her.

Amid the backdrop of the Great Depression, MacArthur and Isabel’s relationship persists like “a perilous voyage on turbulent waters,” as she describes it. In 1934, after four years of relationship, MacArthur leaves Isabel for fear of a political scandal.

The general goes on to become the iconic hero of World War II, liberating the Philippines and rebuilding Japan. Isabel drifts in Los Angeles unable to muster the courage to return to Manila.


hs- about the author

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Cindy Fazzi is a Filipino-American writer and former Associated Press reporter. She has worked as a journalist in the Philippines, Taiwan, and the United States. My MacArthur, published by Sand Hill Review Press, is her literary debut.

She writes romance novels under the pen name Vina Arno. Her first romance book, In His Corner, was published by Lyrical Press in 2015. Her second romance novel, Finder Keeper of My Heart, was published by Painted Hearts Publishing in 2018. Her short stories have been published in Snake Nation Review, Copperfield Review, and SN Review.

Contact

Website/Twitter/IG/Facebook/Goodreads/Google+

 


 

hs- my review

It’s been too long since I’ve reviewed an Historical Fiction novel! General Douglas MacArthur is well-known as the Chief of Staff and commanded Allied forces in the South Pacific during WWII. Before he became a beloved hero, he got involved with a young Filipino Isabel Rosario Cooper which at the time was a big no-no due to his political standing and her ethnicity.

Author Cindy Fazzi takes us back to the 20s during the Great Depression. We first meet Isobel as she is going to a boxing match and in the midst of enjoying herself, she catches the eye of the future General Douglas MacArthur. We follow them through their courtship and bounce between Isobel and Douglas’s perspectives. You can feel their love through the pages and my heart broke knowing it never worked out.

Society, politics, and threat of a scandal tore these lovers apart, but the memory of them will always remain and echo through the ages.

Rating 8

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Blog Tour, ARC Review, & Giveaway: After They Go By J. Mercer

Blog Tour, ARC Review, & Giveaway: After They Go By J. Mercer

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Title: After They Go
Author: J. Mercer
Release Date: May 15th, 2018
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Available: Amazon
Add to Goodreads


ag- about the book

A large family saga set in a coastal tourist town: 
One sister chained by family tradition. 
The second stunted by her sister’s shadow. 
The youngest propelled by desperation.

Gwen is the oldest of four children in the Aaldenberg family, and the one who seems to have it all. She’s also most desperate to escape. Betta, having nursed their dying grandpa for the past three years, is anxious for Gwen to go, so she can finally have reins to the family business. And Esmerelda, viciously determined to follow in Gwen’s footsteps, vies for popularity as a freshman in high school, only to learn she must sell her soul, reputation, and most prized possession for acceptance. 
As their father struggles with retirement and their mother with depression, Gwen discovers the debt her grandfather’s passing left them in–and during a time of year when their coastal town, dependent on tourists, can barely sustain itself. Gwen and their father agree Betta can’t take over the store under such stressful circumstances, not when she’s been carrying the load for so long, and to protect Betta, they play it off that she needs some time to rest.  
When Gwen’s fiancé moves to town, Gwen does her best to resign herself to a local life, while Betta struggles for meaning without the store. In order to carve out a place for herself, Betta must decide to what lengths she’ll go in order to become her own person, and Gwen must decide what’s more important: her sister or her future. Can this family pull through their disappointment, jealousy, and regret? Or will they cling so tightly to their desires that it ruins them?

ag- about the author
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J. Mercer grew up in Wisconsin where she walked home from school with her head in a book, filled notebooks with stories in junior high, then went to college for accounting and psychology only to open a dog daycare. She wishes she were an expert linguist, is pretty much a professional with regards to competitive dance hair (bunhawk, anyone?), and enjoys exploring with her husband–though as much as she loves to travel, she’s also an accomplished hermit. Perfect days include cancelled plans, rain, and endless hours to do with what she pleases.
Find her on Facebook @jmercerbooks or online at www.jmercerbooks.com.

ag- my review

I don’t know why this reminded me of Big Little Lies. The author wrote these characters in such a complex way, you needed to keep your eye on them all and each event that takes place. Since this is told by multiple perspectives, it can be difficult keeping track especially if you need to put the book down for any reason.  Despite all of that, they are woven together in together in the end to make a complete, cohesive story.

The Aaldenberg family is going through financial struggles that bleed into the mother and her three daughters’ lives. Gwen wishes to be free of obligations of any kind, but since she is the oldest, she is forced to tow the line despite wanting to have her own life. Betta has taken on much of the family burdens to the degree where she wants to take the wheel of the family business. The youngest, Esmerelda, is facing the harsh reality that sometimes in order to be popular, you have to basically sell your soul.

A small community can hold it’s secret, but for this family they need to learn trust, openness, and sacrifice. This story kept me indulged to the very end. Much like the family will keep all readers.


ag- giveaway

Want to Enter for a Chance to Win a $25 Amazon Giftcard?

Enter Here!

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Rating 8

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Blog Tour, Excerpt, Tour-Wide Giveaway: Shades of Wicked By Jeaniene Frost

Blog Tour, Excerpt, Tour-Wide Giveaway: Shades of Wicked By Jeaniene Frost

Title: Shades of Wicked
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Rebel (BK. 1 – Part of the Night Huntress World)
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Available: Amazon/Avon Romance/B&N/Google Play/iBooks
Add to Goodreads


md- about the book

In this thrilling new Night Rebel series set in New York Times bestselling author Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress world, sexy and ruthless vampire Ian finally meets his match!

The Rule Breaker…
Master vampire Ian is unrepentant, shameless…and every shade of wicked. He’s made one too many enemies in his two centuries of existence, including Dagon, a demon who now lays claim to his soul. Ian’s only chance to escape Dagon is to join forces with a Law Guardian, but he’s never been able to abide by the rules for long.

The Law Maker…
Veritas’ normal role is police, judge, and jury to reprobates like Ian. But she has her own ax to grind with Dagon, so if she can use Ian as bait…well, all’s fair in law and war. As they scour supernatural hotspots to perfect their trap, Veritas soon realizes Ian’s carefully cultivated, devil-may-care roguish image hides something much more powerful. And Ian discovers Veritas has shocking secrets of her own. As they’re drawn to each other with a passion as intense as their peril, either love or justice will prevail. But each will have devastating consequences.


md- giveaway

To celebrate the release of SHADES OF WICKED by Jeaniene Frost, Pure Texuality is giving away a paperback copy of Once Burned, the first book in the Night Prince series, to one lucky winner!

Enter Giveaway Here!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to internationally. One winner will receive a paperback copy of Once Burned, the first book in the Night Prince series, by Jeaniene Frost. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Connie Suttle. Giveaway ends 11/9/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per reader. Duplicates will be deleted.


md- about the author

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JEANIENE FROST is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of the Night Huntress and Night Prince series, as well as the Night Huntress World novels. To date, foreign rights for her novels have sold to twenty different countries. Jeaniene lives in Florida with her husband, Matthew, rarely cooks and always sleeps in on the weekends. Aside from writing, Jeaniene enjoys reading, poetry, watching movies with her husband, exploring old cemeteries, spelunking and traveling — by car. Airplanes, children, and cook books frighten her.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon


Excerpt

This had better be the right whorehouse.
It didn’t look like the seedier brothels I’d recently been to. This three-story structure could pass as the meeting place for an elite social club. Despite its unexpected prettiness, if I had to wade through another flesh-fest only to turn up empty-handed again, I wouldn’t be responsible for what I did to my quarry when I finally found him.
To vent my aggravation over weeks of fruitless searching, I kicked the door open. Politeness had been wasted at the last several establishments anyway. No smart proprietor willingly gave up a well-paying client, and I’ll say one thing for the bordello-loving vampire I was after: He obviously paid well.
To my surprise, I didn’t see anyone in the elegant foyer. Brothels usually had several prostitutes lingering around the entryway to welcome new customers. I was further surprised when I didn’t hear sounds of carnal activity coming from the upper floors of the house. I pulled out my mobile and checked the GPS pin. Yes, this was the right place. What’s more, it certainly smelled like sex, once you got past the choking scents of various perfumes and colognes.
But where was everyone?
Faint vibrations in the floor made me stride toward the hallway. Ah, so the party must be downstairs. I followed the strongest scents of perfume until I found a staircase that descended two floors. It ended at a locked door that I also kicked in. No point in being dainty now.
Noise blasted out. The basement must have been soundproofed for me to miss it before. Now, I wished I couldn’t hear what was going on. A boisterous chorus assaulted my ears, repeating over and over. Thunder and Blazes, the favorite opening song of the former Barnum and Bailey circus.
And I had walked into a circus, I saw now, although one without any real animals. About a dozen naked women and men frolicked on the ground, doing woefully inadequate impressions of the creatures their full body paint represented. No work ethic, I thought when three faux lions appeared more interested in petting each other than in more realistic fights for dominance, and don’t get me started on how they ignored the two faux gazelles that walked by them.
The dozen or so prostitutes dressed in clown suits showed more dedication for their roles. They emerged from a fake car in the far corner of the room, some falling forward in rolling somersaults once they exited, some tripping each other with comedic exaggeration, and some blowing up balloons into explicit body parts that they then graphically connected.
An eruption of fireworks yanked my attention to the other side of the room. They were going off around what looked like a throne, haloing its occupant in a blaze of sparks, fire and smoke. The mini pyrotechnic display was so bright, I couldn’t make out the enthroned person’s face, but when he called out, “Act Eight will now begin!” I heard a distinct English accent.
Then the smoke cleared enough to show a tall man wearing a blue circus-ringleader jacket. The smoke still concealed him from the waist down, but I didn’t need to see more to know I’d finally found my target. The vampire who’d blazed a trail through a dozen whorehouses in only two weeks had a face as beautiful as an angel’s, not to mention that his fire-and-umber hair was as distinctive as his looks. When he got off the throne, revealing he wore nothing beneath the ringleader jacket, I realized those weren’t Ian’s only notable attributes.
For a moment, I stared. What vampire in his right mind would pierce himself with silver there?
I was the only one shocked by the silver piercing through the tip of Ian’s cock. Everyone else stopped what they were doing and rushed toward him. Even the glitter-covered acrobats leapt from their swinging perches near the ceiling, gracefully landing near the pile of limbs that now formed around the red-headed vampire.
It wasn’t enough that I had to be burdened with a vampire so mentally deficient that he’d willingly given himself a case of perpetual cock burn. He also had to be depraved enough to indulge in carnival-themed orgies. I wasn’t about to find out what the rest of Act Eight entailed. I made my way to the growing flesh pile and began flinging people aside, taking care not to throw them too hard. Their heartbeats meant they were human, so they couldn’t heal the way my kind could.
“What’s this?” Ian asked in an annoyed manner when I reached the bottom of the bodies. Then he let out an appreciative noise when I yanked him up with none of the care I’d shown the other people.
“Why, hallo, my strong blonde sweeting.” Now he didn’t sound annoyed at all. “Are you the surprise I was promised?”
Why not let him believe that? “Sure,” I said. “Surprise.” And I grabbed him by the cock. I had one more thing to verify before I went any further.
Ian chuckled. “That’s the spirit, poppet.”
I dropped to my knees. I wasn’t about to do what he thought. Still, this act allowed me to zero in on my goal with the least amount of resistance from him. Once I got a good look at the smoke-colored brands near the base of Ian’s groin, I released him. Only one demon branded people with these particular markings, and it was the same demon I’d been after for thousands of years.
“Ian,” I said as I straightened. “Say good-bye. We’re leaving.”
He laughed outright. “I don’t think so. You might be lovely, but two’s lonely, while a dozen is a party.”
I gave a disparaging look around. “No great loss. The clowns were fine, but none of your faux animals fought each other or even attempted to jump through the fire rings.”
At that, he gave the animal-painted prostitutes an accusing look. “You didn’t, did you?” Then, his eyes suddenly narrowed as he looked back at me. “Wait a moment. I know you.”
We’d only officially met once before, so I hadn’t thought he’d remember me. Someone with his tendencies had to have crossed paths with vast numbers of blonde women.
“Veritas, Law Guardian for the vampire council,” I confirmed. Then my hands landed on his shoulders. “And as I said, you are coming with me.”


md- my review

Let me take a moment to release my excitement for the lonnnnng awaited release of this book:

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I previously wrote a review on the Night Huntress series not to long ago. Check it out here!

Ok, when Jeaniene decided to continue the Night Huntress, but jump straight to Vlad instead of Ian – I was a little frustrated. I lied, I was VERY frustrated. I mean, we have Spade and Menchares having their women in their lives. Yes, Ian is prude, rude, and has caused the majority problems Kat went through for two books, but hey, he was redeemed! Well, sort of….don’t fight me on this, you…will…lose!

We were introduced to Veritas, a Law Guardian of the Vampires, back in Destined for an Early Grave and she returned for the original Night Huntress finale in Up from the Grave. I’m a little confused by her description in the new series. I could be wrong, but I remember her being described as tiny and small due to being turned at a young age. In this first book, she’s actually more physically developed and completely the opposite of how she used to be. Um, need answers on this!

Anyways, she tracks down Ian in order to join forces to trap Dagon, a demon who has a contract on Ian’s soul. We meet up with cameos of familiar characters *inserts fangirl scream*. I will not say who but the moment they showed up, I needed to take a second and let myself bask in their fictional presence. I adore this world too much, I’m telling you.

We go into Veritas’ origins threw me in for a loop. I did not expect for her story to go in that direction. We also see a whole other side to Ian besides his humor and promiscuous ways. Underneath, both of these characters have more than meets the eye and their growth with one another is as organic and raw as it was for Kat and Bones. I will not compare the two couples because they are not comparable. Each pairing is unique and I have always admired Frost’s way to make them that way. She does not have cookie-cutter characters. They all have their own voice and you learn to love each of them in their own way.

I will say, though, that ending….Jeaniene, I read your Night Huntress outtakes book, and I’m onto you!

Rating 9


If you haven’t read this series – why not? Pick it up and catch up!

I cannot wait for the sequel and already have a feeling this series will earn it’s stars in the best way along with the others.

Have you read this series?

Let me know in the comments below!


Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Blog Tour & ARC Book Review: Carols and Chaos By Cindy Anstey

Blog Tour & ARC Book Review: Carols and Chaos By Cindy Anstey

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Title: Carols and Chaos
Author: Cindy Anstey
Release Date: October 9th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Kobo/Google Play
Add to Goodreads

hs- about the book

A lady’s maid and a valet become entangled in a yuletide counterfeiting scheme in this romantic Christmas YA adventure.

1817. The happy chaos of the Yuletide season has descended upon the country estate of Shackleford Park in full force, but lady’s maid Kate Darby barely has the time to notice. Between her household duties, caring for her ailing mother, and saving up money to someday own a dress shop, her hands are quite full. Matt Harlow is also rather busy. He’s performing double-duty, acting as valet for both of the Steeple brothers, two of the estate’s holiday guests.

Falling in love would be a disaster for either of them. But staving off their feelings for each other becomes the least of their problems when a devious counterfeiting scheme reaches the gates of Shackleford Park, and Kate and Matt are unwittingly swept up in the intrigue.

 

hs- about the author

Cindy

Whenever she is not sitting at the computer, throwing a ball in the backyard, gardening or reading, Cindy can be found–actually, not found–adventuring around the world with her hubby.

She has lived on three continents, had a monkey in her yard and a scorpion under her sink, dwelt among castles and canals, enjoyed the jazz of Beale St and attempted to speak French.

Cindy loves history, mystery and…a chocolate Labrador called Chester. 

 

hs- my review

Halloween is over and now the holidays are upon us! I read Cindy’s novel Suitors and Sabotage earlier this year and at the time, I heard that she was coming out with a spin-off for it. The moment I found out I was approved for this book, I was excited to dive in and see what she had to offer.

We focus on one of the ladies maid’s Kate and Matt, Ben Steeple’s valet, from the previous novel. There were hints of their attraction from the novel and they are further explored in this one. Due to the holiday hustle and bustle in Shackleford Park, the Steeple and Chively families come together to feed the flame between these two.

Now, I enjoyed Suitors and Sabotage, but it needed to be fleshed out more. There was more talk than show pertaining to scene development and even pertaining to Kate and Matt’s relationship. I mean, there weren’t that many scenes where they were paired together for us to fully understand or watch their relationship grow to what we could have perceived.

I was great to be back into this world and the atmosphere of the 1800s. However, the lack of action made the experience lacking. The mystery aspect didn’t even show up till halfway through the book. It was a good read, yes, but when you tell more than show – it robs you of the experience.

If you need a quick, holiday-themed mystery, try this out. But do not expect everything you wish for wrapped up with a pretty bow on top.

Rating 6

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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‘Halloween Creatures’ Tag!

‘Halloween Creatures’ Tag!

Shout out to Alex @ Thepaperbackpiano for posting about this tag and the original creator Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward! I’m a huge horror fan and am excited to take part in this wonderful tag. Alex, I absolutely loved your answers! I hope you and fellow readers enjoy mine and take part in this! Happy Halloween, Charmers & Beyond!

 

Witch: A Magical Character/Book

 

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Add to Goodreads

What if you discovered a literary world you’ve fallen in love with is real? Oh, and you have magical powers and are needed to help save it? Even though this is now an amazing show on Syfy, I still love the magical world Lev Grossman has created. Take a look!

Werewolf: A Perfect Book to Read at Night

 

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An oldie but goodie. It’s full of tropes and yet, it’s been keeping me up at night. Karou, Zuzana, Kaz – ah, I love everyone and this world!

 

Frankenstein: A Book that Truly Shocked You

 

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Check Out My Full Review!

This book is was transformed into the classic film that the horror community enjoys and treasures today. The original book it came from, is just as terrifying and shocking.

The Devil: A Dark, Evil Character

 

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Do I really need to state the true obvious villain in this book in the series? *Coughs* Umbridge *Coughs*

Grim Reaper: A Character that Never Should Have Died

 

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Mercutio, Mercutio, MERCUTIO! He is literally my everything. For years, I have been working on a modern day Romeo and Juliet apocalyptic novel and believe me, Mercutio will be avenged! Or at least his new incarnation. He is one of those characters were never should have died, period.

 

Zombie: A Book that Made You “Hunger” For More

 

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Those who are new to my blog, I am not a huge Jane Austen fan. I don’t know what it is about her books. They just never entertained me. Now, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, though, I could not get enough of it! It put me down a path classic crossovers with various monsters (i.e. werewolves, vampires, etc.). Some are well-written, some are not. Much like fairy tale re-tellings, these type of books breathe a whole new life into old novels.

Gargoyle: A Character You Would Protect at All Costs

 

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I would definitely protect Louis, no doubt about it.

Vampire: A Book that Sucked the Life Out of You

 

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This book drained me to the point where I thought I would never cry again. Gage, poor little Gage. This book is extremely dark, but is a reminder that some things should remain buried.

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Ghost: A Book that Still Haunts You

 

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Check Out My Full Review!

This book still haunts me due to the fact that you never know what may happen if you purchase a haunted “collectors” item from the internet. It could be your past coming back to haunt you and cost you your life….It’s a story that will never escape my mind.

Demon: A Book that Really Scared You

 

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The book that inspired the current hit The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix as well as two films, this story is extremely chilling. Shirley Jackson’s entrancing writing drags you into this world, causing you to question what you see, hear, and experience. In the end, you wonder whether or not you are going mad or the main character, Eleanor, is truly the mad one. That, in a nutshell, personally scared me.

 

Skeleton: A Character You Have a Bone to Pick With

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Actually, fast-forward to Mockingjay, shall we? Gale abandoning Katniss? Yeah, boy, please.

Mummy: A Book You Would Preserve Throughout Time

 

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I will forever want to preserve this book! I have four copies and even one of the horror spins of this novel, making Jane Eyre a vampire slayer. It’s truly a classic you must read at least once!

 

Creepy Doll: A Cover Too Scary to Look At

 

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I have seen others, but this is the least unnerving of all of the others and thought would fly here.

 

Monster Mash: It’s Fun to Be Friends on Halloween! Tag Your Friends!

Instead of picking specific people, I choose all of you! Don’t forget to tag Alex @ Thepaperbackpiano and also me. I am curious to see your answers for this Spooky Tag.

 

What did you think of my answers?

Have you read any of these books and if so, what were your thoughts?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

Happy Spooky Reading!

~C.C.

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Book Tour, ARC Review, & Giveaway: To Catch a Rogue By Bec McMaster

Book Tour, ARC Review, & Giveaway: To Catch a Rogue By Bec McMaster

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Title: To Catch a Rogue
Author: Bec McMaster
Series: London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy #4
Release Date: October 30th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Kobo/iBooks
Add to Goodreads

md- about the book

The Company of Rogues finally knows the identity of the mastermind behind a plot against the queen—but their enemy is still one step ahead of them. When he kidnaps one of theirs, the Rogues plan a daring rescue mission that will lead them into the heart of the bloodthirsty Crimson Court.

It’s a job for a master thief, and there’s nothing Charlie Todd likes more than a challenge. To pull off the impossible, Charlie needs a crew, including the only thief who’s ever been able to outfox him.

He broke her heart. But now she must risk it all to save his life…

Lark’s spent years trying to forget her past, but the one thing she can’t ignore is the way a single smile from Charlie still sets her heart on fire. When he proposes they work together again, it feels just like old times, but she has one rule: this is strictly business.

It’s Charlie’s last chance to prove he can be trusted with her heart. But Lark’s keeping a deadly secret. And as passions are stirred and the stakes mount, it might be the kind of secret that could destroy them all…

md- about the author

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BEC MCMASTER grew up on a steady diet of 80’s fantasy movies like Ladyhawke, Labyrinth and The Princess Bride, and loves creating epic, fantasy-based worlds with heroes and heroines who must defeat all the odds to have their HEA. If you like sexy, dark, paranormal romance, try her Dark Arts series; for some kick-bustle ladies-saving-the-day steampunk romance then check out London Steampunk; and for rocket-fuelled post-apocalyptic romance with a twist on the werewolf theme, then see her Burned Lands series.

Bec has been nominated for RT Reviews Best Steampunk Romance for Heart of Iron (2013), won RT Reviews Best Steampunk Romance with Of Silk And Steam (2015), and Forged By Desire was nominated for an RWA RITA award in 2015. The series has received starred reviews from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and Library Journal, with Heart of Iron named one of their Best Romances of 2013.

Join Bec’s newsletter for all the latest news on releases, exclusive excerpts and cover reveals, and get your copy of ‘Tarnished Knight’, a novella in her award-winning London Steampunk series. Copy and paste this link into your browser: http://eepurl.com/F_LkD

Contact

Website/Twitter/Goodreads

md- my review

I came in late to The Steampunk Conspiracy game. Don’t judge me, but I did. The plus side, though, the author fills you in on all of the action you missed in the previous novels through a quick synopsis at the beginning of the book and throughout the novel. This, obviously, a huge relief for me trying to catch up on it and the original series: The London Steampunk.

Here is an excerpt to fill you in on who the rogues are:

“The Duke of Malloryn puts together a highly-skilled team of individuals (human, mechs, and rogue blue bloods) to combat a mysterious threat against the queen, and the Company of Rogues is born.”

Each of these books are set in a world where vampires are considered “blue bloods” and there are different courts where they dwell. The Crimson Court is a common threat to the blue bloods who fight for justice and peace. In this book, The Duke of Malloryn, is kidnapped and held captive within the dark Crimson Court. The Rogues are notified and decide to send one of their best to rescue the Duke and also recruit an old flame of his to tackle the task.

Charlie and Lark have a complicated past. Charlie broke her heart by choosing another woman over her and disappearing. Lark, in turn, went on her own path, acquiring a long list of secrets in her wake. Oh my gosh the secrets!

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The plot is solid, adored the characters and the chemistry surrounding them. I felt for Lark, I truly did. I can understand her coldness toward Charlie and being resistant to him even though her hidden feelings fought against her. The events unfolded organically, no stone unturned. Usually characters were as many secrets as Lark would tend to get taxing, but this was completely the opposite.

Everything came around full circle and I’m definitely going to be looking into the previous books! Love steampunk and vampires with a dash of sexy rogues? Take this series and go!

Rating 9

md- giveaway

Want to win a $10 Amazon gift card?

Enter Giveaway Here!

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Book VS. Movie Review: Rosemary’s Baby By Ira Levin

Book VS. Movie Review: Rosemary’s Baby By Ira Levin

Tis’ the Season, Charmers!

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I haven’t been around much except for blog tours, but behind-the-scenes I’ve been delving into some wicked Halloween reads. Witches, Vampires, Horror Anthologies, Man-made creatures brought back from death’s grasp, and more. Halloween is basically my Christmas and for the next few days, I’ll be delivering my offerings of frightful reads, podcasts, and other spooky themed goodness.

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Rosemary’s Baby is a notorious famous horror film directed by Roman Polanski back in the 60s. For years, this tale has inspired generations of horror filmmakers and writers all across the globe. People seem to forget this apocalyptic masterpiece actually derived from a novel, however. A novel created from the unique mind of author Ira Levin and, in my opinion, ahead of it’s time.

Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse appear to be the perfect couple. Rosemary, a stay at home wife dead set on starting a family, while her husband Guy, struggling actor, are searching for their perfect apartment home in New York. They choose to move into the Bramford, a prestigious building with a slight, um, dark reputation for attracting not-so-pleasant guests who meet violent ends. Despite warnings about it’s past from Rosemary’s father figure Hutch (adore this man), Guy and Rosemary move in anyway. Soon, strange things begin to occur that will shake not only Rosemary’s personal life, but the future of the world itself.

Rosemary befriends a woman named Terry at the beginning of the novel right when her and her husband move into the Bramford. Terry tells Rosemary of her past dealings with alcohol and drug addiction. Eventually, she ended up on the streets until the Castevets, an elderly couple who live at the Bramford as well, “rescued” her.

We don’t get to spend much with Terry in the novel even though I would have loved to have more scenes written with her in them. Why? Well, Terry’s life is cut short because of her apparent suicide outside the Bramford. Enter in the Castevets, who never suspected why she would have done such a thing, but due to Terry’s death – this ushers them into entering the Woodhouse’s lives. When I say enter, I mean basically take over.

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Dinners with the couple, digging them into their current lives, wondering how many children they may have, religious backgrounds, their stances with their families, suddenly “appearing” with desert at their door on baby making night, etc.. Ok, I don’t care, but there were red flags about this couple from the get-go that any intelligent person would have picked up on. The couple is obviously up to no good and they turn the Woodhouse’s lives turn upside down.

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I’m not going to spoil anymore than I already have. If you’ve seen the movie, I have to give props to Polanski for sticking close to the book (even though he is a creep, look him up). He stuck extremely close to the book while adding onto the incredible foreshadowing author Ira Levin wrote in the novel. You have to read the novel at least twice or even more to pick up on all of the pieces. Polanski also became insanely creative with the metaphors in the book by making them even more relatable, both politically and religiously to the times, in the transfer to film. These aspects enhanced the true darkness of it all and that is what truly makes the film a classic. For the book lover side, he practically used the dialogue word-for-word straight from the book-it’s incredible! When it comes to transferring content from book to screen and directing the actors that you can’t see anyone else play those characters, this film and book are a perfect representation of how it should be handled.

This book was written during a time of female oppression during the 60s. The overall transformation of Rosemary, in book and in the movie, is astonishing to watch unfold. Her cutting her hair, her rebellion against the Castevettes and her husband’s control, the rights to her baby and her choice to be a mother or not, and her own push to find out what is really going on behind the walls of her home and beyond – all signs of women’s fight for rights. This book can be looked at under many lights, both horror and political.

Regardless of your preference, though, this is the perfect Halloween read for this year or any year!

Rating 10

Have you read “Rosemary’s Baby” or have watched the movie?

What are your thoughts on them?

Do you have any Halloween Recommendations?

Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Spooky Reading!

~C.C.

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Blog Tour: ARC Review & Giveaway: Death by the River By Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor

Blog Tour: ARC Review & Giveaway: Death by the River By Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor

Title: Death by the River

Author(s): Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor

Release Date: October 2nd, 2018

Genre: Horror, Young Adult

Available: Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kobo

Add to Goodreads

cl- about the book

A high school “American Psycho.”

SOME TRUTHS ARE BETTER KEPT SECRET.

SOME SECRETS ARE BETTER OFF DEAD.

Along the banks of the Bogue Falaya River, sits the abandoned St. Francis Seminary. Beneath a canopy of oaks, blocked from prying eyes, the teens of St. Benedict High gather here on Fridays. The rest of the week belongs to school and family—but weekends belong to the river.

And the river belongs to Beau Devereaux.

The only child of a powerful family, Beau can do no wrong. Handsome. Charming. Intelligent. The star quarterback of the football team. The “prince” of St. Benedict is the ultimate catch.

He is also a psychopath.

A dirty family secret buried for years, Beau’s evil grows unchecked. In the shadows of the ruined St. Francis Abbey, he commits unspeakable acts on his victims and ensures their silence with threats and intimidation. Senior year, Beau sets his sights on his girlfriend’s headstrong twin sister, Leslie, who hates him. Everything he wants but cannot have, she will be his ultimate prize.

As the victim toll mounts, it becomes crystal clear that someone has to stop Beau Devereaux.

And that someone will pay with their life.

 

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Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight.
Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.

Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight.

He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.

Photography, making wine, and helping endangered species are just some of his interests. Lucas is an expert archer and enjoys jazz, blues, and classical music.
One of his favorite quotes is:

It’s better to be silent than be a fool.” ~Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)

cl- my review

This book is nothing short of intense. I cannot stress the fact that if you choose to read this, you need to know there are scenes involving rape and violence. At first, I wondered if this was truly a YA novel due to the scenes, language, slut/kink shaming, and the content. I am used to reading content like this in adult novels, but not YA. I understand times are changing in YA but not to this extent. I am not knocking the book for this, merely stating my opinion. If these aspects were not in this novel, it would not be as intense and driving as it was for me.

Leslie and her sister Dawn are polar opposites. Leslie is dating a non-popular guy, living in a healthy relationship, and has her priorities straight and standards high. Her sister, on the other hand, is basically trapped in a toxic relationship with Beau, the high school quarterback who comes from the Devereaux family that owns the majority of the town.

Beau is constantly antagonizing Leslie behind her sister’s back, taunting her and making aggressive moves toward her that are nothing short of assault. Since his family practically runs the town, the principal and various students turn a blind eye to rumors surrounding him. He smiles like an angel on the outside when his inner core is dark and on the verge of exploding, destroying everything and everyone around him.

Watching Beaus dissension into rage, madness, and ruthless behavior sent shivers down my spine. He is an extremely frightening character. He has a history of abusing his mother, terrorizing animals, and takes unsuspecting girls into his “sanctuary” in the Abbey where his actions know no bounds. That is, until his secrets begin to rise from their graves and oh, what tales do they have to tell. Then the destruction of Beau Deveraux takes hold and his ghosts are ready to reek their revenge.

I need to give props for the authors with delving deep into the town’s history and the background of the character’s families. It gave me an even deeper understanding as to where Beau’s inner demons derived from. From generation to generation, the mental illness and past abuse running in the veins of the family finally came to a head and the seed is planted within him. It is not an excuse, but at least you know the source of the issues.

I felt for Leslie and her worry for her sister. I grew angry with Dawn over her insistence of believing there was good in Beau despite the signs of the opposite. I cried over Beau’s victims and crimes. This whole story, quite frankly, there were various times where I needed to set the book down and brew a heavy batch of chamomile and peppermint tea to bring me down from the edge.

This book is not for the faint of heart, that is for sure. If you are easily triggered, do not read this book. If you are looking for a Halloween read that will have you looking over your shoulder then try it out.

Rating 9

cl- giveaway

Want a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift card?

Enter Giveaway Here!

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Happy “Spooky” Reading!

~C.C.

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Book Blitz & Excerpts: Dark Falls By Lori Ryan & Savannah Kade

Book Blitz & Excerpts: Dark Falls By Lori Ryan & Savannah Kade

Titles: Dark Falls; Dark Secrets
Author(s): Lori Ryan and Savannah Kade
Series: Dark Falls series
Release Date: October 9th, 2018

Available:
Dark Falls
Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

Dark Secrets
Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

inn - about the book

Dark Falls

A cop hunting a violent thrill seeker. A woman from his past. Will their history and heated attraction put his case on ice?

Detective John Sevier never wanted to be anything but a cop. When a string of jewelry store heists threatens the woman he let get away years before, he’ll stop at nothing to bring the adrenaline junkie gang leader to justice.

Ava McNair never looked at her life as a sacrifice. She loves taking care of her dad and running her family’s jewelry store with her special needs sister. So what if that meant dropping out of college and leaving behind a man who just might have been the one? When fate gives her and the detective who got away a second shot at love, will she step up and take it or will life tear them apart again?

With Ava in the path of a killer, will John be able to move fast enough to take down a violent man set on wreaking as much damage as he can before he goes down?

Dark Secrets

When Grace Lee storms into the Dark Falls Police Department, heads turn. But she only has eyes for Detective Nate Ryder—the officer who closed her brother Jimmy’s case too quickly, declaring his death a suicide rather than a murder. As a forensic scientist, Grace thinks the signs are obvious, the trick is convincing Nate.

Nate has to admit Grace’s argument makes a lot of sense, and he feels obligated to revisit the case. The problem is, while he’s following the old evidence, she’s collecting new samples—and putting herself in danger from the same organization that killed her brother. Jimmy was definitely onto something before he was murdered. Now, Nate has another worry: some of the new evidence Grace has found points back to members of the Dark Falls PD. 

As strange coincidences turn deadly, Nate has to become Grace’s protector. They don’t know who they can trust and who they can’t. Will Grace and Nate be the next victims in a massive cover-up? Or can they figure out which cops are dirty fast enough to stay alive? 

inn- about the author
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Savannah Kade grew up in East Tennessee and started writing when she was only 8 years old. It was a romance for the ages, but it will never see the light of day. She’s been writing ever since and fighting for heroines who are quirky but not dumb, heroes who are real men, and for love stories that are more than just a cute trope. She now lives outside of Nashville with her amazing husband and 2 kids. She can usually be found working on her next novel.

Contact

Website/Facebook/Twitter

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Lori Ryan is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance with steamy love scenes and characters you won’t want to leave in the pages when the story is over.

Lori published her first novel in April of 2013 and ​has fallen in love with writing. ​She is the author of the Sutton Capital Series; the Heroes of Evers, Texas; and the Triple Play Curse Novellas, a set of novellas with sexy baseball players at their core as part of Bella Andre’s Game For Love Kindle World. She has also published in Melanie Shawn’s Hope Falls Kindle World and in Robyn Peterman’s Magic and Mayhem Kindle World.

She lives with an extremely understanding husband, three wonderful children, and two mostly well-behaved dogs in Austin, Texas. It’s a bit of a zoo, but she wouldn’t change a thing. She loves to connect with her readers. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe to her blog.

Contact

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads

 

gb- excerpt

Dark Falls

Ava McNair smiled as she watched the couple leave her store. She loved seeing couples find the perfect engagement ring to start their lives together. These two were young, but she could see the devotion in the way they looked at each other.

He’d come in ahead of time to choose a ring, then told his girlfriend he needed to swing by and pick up a watch his mom left to be repaired. The look on her face was priceless when he dropped to one knee after Ava passed him the ring box.

“Nice,” Kirsten James said, winking at Ava from her spot by the door. The woman might look harsh in her guard uniform, but she was as much of a softy when it came to that kind of thing as Ava was.

Ava grinned and turned to go to the back to check on her sister, but the door chimed again. What she saw when she looked back was anything but expected.

The man entering her familys jewelry store had filled out. His face was different, worn in a way, but in a good way. At least, she thought it looked good on him. His eyes were the same, though.

John Seviers eyes trapped and held her, his light brown gaze doing things to her just like they had years before when shed been stupid enough to walk away from him.

To say he was the one who got away was an understatement. Shed been so naïve and focused on all the wrong things at that time in her life. She never realized what she was losing until it was far too late for her to do anything about it.

Not that she would have been able to hold on to him anyway. Halfway through college, her life had changed drastically, and she’d had to drop out to help her dad and sister. She would have lost John then, anyway. Still, an eighties rock ballad was playing in the back of her head somewhere as she thought about not knowing what you had ’til it was gone.

Kirsten stiffened and looked ready to move into action if Ava didn’t say anything. It was no wonder. A six-foot-one man who looked like he could eat glass for breakfast if he got the craving, was standing frozen in their showroom. And Ava probably looked like a deer in headlights.

“John.” Ava breathed the word out, then shook herself to clear the fog. She waved a hand at Kirsten. Its all right. Johns an old friend.

She thought she saw something flicker in his eyes at the words, but if it had been anything more than her imagination, it was gone.

Um…” Ava looked around the showroom. One of her salespeople was on the other side of the store helping an older gentleman pick out a bracelet for his granddaughter. Kirsten was still staring at her and John.

Ava swung a hand in the direction of the workshop and offices at the back of the store. We could, um…”

Thankfully, John nodded, seemingly unconcerned at the fact she couldn’t seem to get a sentence out that didn’t include “um.” Scratch that, she hadn’t actually gotten a complete sentence out, period.

She went to the back, hoping to pass right through the workshop where her sister, Janna, designed most of the jewelry they carried. They had other artisans who worked for them, repairing jewelry and watches and such, but Janna was their only bench jeweler. Anything in their cases that her sister didn’t make was ordered from jewelry wholesalers or outside artisans.

Janna stood at her bench, the spotlights that surrounded her all aimed at a four-inch square space in front of her as her hands worked with small samplings of metals and gems. Janna had a habit of getting lost in her work, but today when Ava hoped she might do just that, her sister looked up.

Janna’s eyes went from Ava to John and back to Ava in a comic demonstration of her surprise at seeing a man with Ava.

Yeah, it was somewhat of a shock to Ava, too.

John, this is my sister, Janna. Janna, John and I were friends in college.Ava watched as Jannas eyes went wide.

John smiled and nodded. Whether he remembered Ava mentioning Jannas issues with anxiety when they dated, or he just read people really well, she didn’t know. But for whatever reason, he didn’t offer his hand to Janna to shake. That was good. It was what Janna was more comfortable with.

Janna looked to Ava. Big John?

Oh Lord.

Ava’s cheeks flamed hot, and she knew they must be red. She and Janna shared everything, which meant Janna knew all about the John Ava had dated in college. She just hadn’t expected Janna to put the man standing before her together with their conversations about John in college. And yes, Janna had truly nicknamed him Big Johnin college, but it wasn’t for the reasons one might think.

Not that he couldn’t have earned the nickname that way. Back in the day, one of Ava’s friends had described John’s body as “call him if you need your house moved over a few inches” kind of big. She wasn’t wrong.

Ava put her hands to her cheeks, and a small semblance of a laugh slipped from her lips. She dodged Johns smiling eyes and Jannas impish grin without answering and led the way back to her office.

She could try to explain to John that Janna had given him the nickname because that was how hed seemed to her at the time. Ava had talked about John so much when they were dating that Janna had labeled him big” in Ava’s world.

She didn’t know how to say all that without making the whole situation worse, though, so she clamped down on her lips, imprisoning them between her teeth as she shut the door behind them.

The look he gave her told her he was enjoying this far too much.

For your information,she said, crossing her arms, Big John is another John. Not you. It’s…” she didn’t have any ideas… “someone else.

Uhhuh.” He matched her crossed arms and let a smile cross his face.

 

Dark Secrets

Grace didn’t usually spray luminol and pull out her black light when she entered a motel room. But today she held the light up and frowned at the blood revealed by the generously applied chemiluminescent.

Old blood was everywhere. Small spots peeked out from under the edge of the bed where the old polyester blanket touched the carpeting. It looked to Grace as though something had happened in that spot and the bed had simply been moved.

In one corner, another streak of luminol glowed cautiously, the remnant of a merely passable scrubbing. Some of the luminescent spots revealed that her suspicions had been correct about the old carpeting, about this motel room, and about the stains.

Crap. This was the last thing she needed. She’d requested this room specifically. She didn’t always spray Luminol and pull out her black light when she rented a room. Then again, she couldn’t recall ever renting a room this awful in her life. She could imagine Jimmy here, though. If he was on one of his serious benders this would be nothing. Unfortunately, that meant there was nothing obvious here that supported her theory about her brother. She’d have to wait for lab results.

“Oh, Jimmy,” she lamented out loud to the dark room. “What did you get yourself into?”

The way her heart clenched couldn’t be stopped. No matter what the room looked like, no matter what she might be able to prove, none of it would change the facts. Jimmy was dead. Gone, after a life that had been a struggle from the beginning and continued to be one well into adulthood. Grace blinked back the tears that threatened.

Many people didn’t know what it was like having an addict in their lives. They were lucky. Addicts stole, they lied, they betrayed. And they often left you with only one option—completely cutting yourself off. She hadn’t been able to do it. Neither had her parents. So they’d all suffered alongside her little brother.

But, dammit, she’d really thought these last five years had seen a turnaround. He’d been clean and four months shy of his five-year chip. But the Dark Falls Police Department had written of Jimmy’s death as just another junkie overdose. Case closed.

Grace wasn’t buying it. Jimmy wasn’t using again. She knew it. She’d spoken to him just a few days before he died.

No one would believe her. No one did. Even her parents were skeptical, but she believed. She’d lived with Jimmy, and watched him turn to alcohol at age ten, then cocaine at thirteen, she’d gotten good at spotting the signs. Lots of siblings did. Sometimes parents tried to deny it. They turned their kids away, or they made up excuses and always believed the best. But siblings of addicts had a radar for it. Their investment was entirely different from a parental bond.

Grace knew. She’d talked about it in Al-Anon meetings. She’d gone steadily for almost two years, then off and on for another handful. The siblings of addicts all had similar stories. They knew. They could tell when their brothers or sisters were using again. Grace couldn’t count the number of times someone had showed up at a meeting with a suspicion, then even several months later said, “I was right.”

She’d had that feeling about Jimmy before. It happened the first time he’d gotten clean. He’d stayed clean for six months before relapsing. The second time—after their parents had paid to put him through an expensive rehab program—he’d stayed clean a year and a half. But Grace knew that his eighteen-month chip was an excuse to celebrate, to think he’d been cured only to have him slide back. But she didn’t have that feeling. Not this time. The third time seemed to have stuck.

Jimmy had moved to Dark Falls, something their mother had protested with every fiber of her being. He should be close to home. Part Vietnamese, part Chinese, and gay as the day was long, Jimmy wanted to get out of the South. Grace understood. She’d supported him. They texted daily, and she talked to him just a few days before he died. She did not believe he was using again.

She’d even demanded a full autopsy. She checked off her mental list as she looked around the room at the various splotches her quick test had revealed. She’d want samples of them all. Jimmy’s death was listed as an overdose. Had there been fresh blood, the police wouldn’t have been able to write it off so easily.

Grace had only pulled out the Luminol on a whim when she’d seen the dark patches in the carpeting. It could have been wine or cheap beer, but her senses told her to test it. Shit. She looked around behind her, holding the light up. A lot of it was faint, old, but she needed to know what it was.

She had her work cut out for her.

After gathering samples from at least five spots around the room—samples that she highly suspected would be all different—she turned off her black light and clicked the regular light back on.

Surveying the horrible room she didn’t want to be in, she pulled out her phone and called her oftentimes partner, Brad, back home. “Brad, I was right.”

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Blog Tour, ARC Review, Giveaway: Ravaging the Duke By J.R. Salisbury

Blog Tour, ARC Review, Giveaway: Ravaging the Duke By J.R. Salisbury

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Title: Ravaging the Duke
Author: J.R. Salisbury
Series: Mayfair Bk. 2
Release Date: September 25th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kobo
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Inheriting the title from his murdered father, Alec finds just how dire things really are. His father’s gambling obsession left the family with nothing but the entailed properties. The ton views him as a disgraced duke. Alec, now The Duke of Wexwood, finds himself in need of a bride. One with a substantial dowry. It needn’t be a love match as Alec doesn’t believe love exists, except in rare cases. He needs a woman who can help him rebuild the dukedom.

Margaret Douglas is an American recently arrived back in England. She has fulfilled her late father’s wishes by returning with her mother. Now she needs to find a husband. One who won’t squander her dowry, someone who’ll see her as an equal.

Introduced by her cousin, the Earl of Norwood, Margaret and Alec come to an agreement which quickly turns into a passionate romance. 

Lurking in the background are secrets—ones Margaret can’t hide from the duke. Secrets she brought from America. What will happen when Alec finds out what she’s hiding?

 

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Amazon bestselling author J.R. Salisbury divides her time between the U.S. and U.K. with her aging Yorkie, Rocco. When in the U.K. she finds herself shrouded in history, making an author’s imagination come alive.

J.R. writes novels surrounding the Victorian era and Scottish historical romance with perfectly imperfect heroes and strong, sassy heroines.

Contact

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads

r- my review

It has been awhile since I’ve picked up an historical romance novel. I remember back in high school when I used to fly right through them not for the romance, but the historical aspect of it. This one, I felt was a great start back into the genre.

We travel back to the times when arranged marriages were pertained to be fruitful due to titles, dowry obtained by one or both parties, or alliances. I assumed this was between the late 1800s. This case came into play greatly pertaining to the two characters: Alec and Margaret.

Alec’s legacy is in great peril due to his father’s gambling addiction. He has been currently seeking a wealthy female to wed in order to settle debts and re-establish his families’ title. He’s gone through plenty of potentials, but none of them has stuck. Then there is Margaret Douglas.

Margaret is independent and a good head on her shoulders. She will not accept proposals for anyone who she does not deem worthy of her. Alec is introduced and they begin to both realize they may be trouble for each other due to their own secrets. As Love begins to bloom and grow, Margaret realizes she wants to “save” Alec and help him to restore his title. However, it may be too much for both of them to bare.

This is a well-crafted novel to be sure. The past came to life and jumped through the pages. Women were not known to raise their voice due to their stance in society. Margaret is not on of those dainty characters I’ve read in other historical novels who will slightly help their love interests and in the end it was more of the man who did the work, not the women. Margaret is constantly fighting for her voice to be heard and she breaks through!

Rating 8

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Want a Chance to Win a $25 Amazon gift card, Swag, & two of J.R.’s ebooks (winner’s choice)? Enter Here!

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Book Tour, ARC Reviews, & Giveaway: Almost Human Series By Melanie Novak

Book Tour, ARC Reviews, & Giveaway: Almost Human Series By Melanie Novak

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Series
Almost Human, First Trilogy

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Fatal Infatuation (Bk. 1)
Avaiable: Amazon
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Lost Reflections (Bk. 2)
Avaiable: Amazon
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Available: Amazon
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Series
Almost Human The Second Trilogy

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Born to Blood
Available: Amazon
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Descendant of Darkness
Available: Amazon
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Destined for Divinity
Available: Amazon
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Fatal Infatuation

Shy Felicity never expected to gain the attention of a handsome man…or a vampire, but she’ll need all the help she can get to navigate difficulties of addiction and desire; perils of zombies and vampires; and struggles with abuse, morality and…college.

Cain is an elder vampire who displays quiet confidence even as he struggles to overcome sins of his past. Surprisingly, he found that in losing his life he gained his faith and a purpose. His mission: find the hostile vampires that inhabit this small college town, and educate them to live in peace with humans. Their leader, Sindy, is a wicked temptress who has set her sights on Felicity’s new friend Ben. She will be difficult to control, but after meeting Felicity, Cain’s most difficult task lies in controlling himself.

Lost Reflections

Felicity has helped her friends to escape the venomous vixen Sindy, but cannot divine the motives of Cain, the vampire who captured first her gratitude, and then her heart.

She finds the historical account of Cain’s past enthralling and frightening. Now she must determine whether the addictive venom in Cain’s kiss is clouding her judgment, and if his thirst for her blood is a driving force too strong for their love to conquer. 

It’s difficult to contemplate such questions while under the attack of a vengeful vampire and his zombie slaves. Felicity’s heart has already been lost to Cain; will she lose her life as well?

Evolving Ecstasy

The relationship between Cain and Felicity has crested to a peak that leaves them unsure whether to step back from each other for safety, or jump into a future united in death. 

Felicity is unlike any human Cain has known before. She treats him as an equal; a man worthy of friendship, respect and even… love. She embodies qualities of gentleness and loving trust that he has never found among his own kind. This makes her far more desirable to him than any creature of darkness could ever be. 
The venom of Cain’s bite could protect Felicity from hostile vampires, but it would give him a measure of psychic control over her as well. Would Felicity only accept becoming a vampire, due to his addictive venom, coupled with the foolishness of a young girl in love? 

Perhaps there is a brighter future for her in the human world. Is Cain’s desire for Felicity’s love worth the loss of her life?

Born to Blood

Alyson used to think that vampires were almost human; that is, until she became one. Finally consenting to be lovingly turned by her boyfriend Mattie, Allie has come to possess traits and powers previously unknown among vampire kind. Now Allie seeks the help of the elder vampire Cain, to discover not only what she is capable of, but why.

Still healing from heartbreak over Cain, Felicity looked forward to a nice, human relationship, but dating the son of a vampire hunter, and having a psychic bond with one of his prey makes life far from normal. How can Ben and Felicity discover the truths of love when they are forced to live with so many secrets? 

Someone has contrived a diabolical plan to control destiny, and blood may not only be the catalyst for change, but also the master of manipulation behind it. Is rebirth as a vampire always at the discretion of an undead sire, or sometimes is one simply born to blood? 

Descendant of Darkness

The saga continues…

Heartbroken and soul searching, the vampire Cain believes he has finally found his purpose. He is mentoring Allie, who is grudgingly coming to terms with the fact that she is unique among vampires… The United One. Together with Allie’s husband Mattie, they are working to discover her powers, when the vampiress Sindy returns with some new tricks of her own.

Ben and Felicity have tried to leave their past involvements with vampires behind them, settling into human life together, despite having to deal with Ben’s vampire hunting father – but is mundane love strong enough to supersede the supernatural?

The vampire Elric has sabotaged his master’s plans to control The United One more times than for which he can expect to safely escape the consequences. Coven Master Arif knows what he wants, and the guiding forces behind his plan know how to help him get it… If Elric rebels, he could lose his love, but thwart disaster for the human race. Is staying true to the coven in order to save his love, worth the price the world will pay? 

When you are descended from darkness, is it still possible to reach for the light? In times of peace, prepare for war.

Destined For Divinity

Sindy is a vampiress of little morals and large aspirations…or at least, the old Sindy was. Love and friendship are becoming more important to her, and after becoming an accomplice to kidnapping and an agent of betrayal, she would be willing to settle for escaping the tangled web she has woven without getting herself dusted.
Felicity is being held for a ransom that no one of sound moral conscience should be willing to pay. Coven Master Arif, a vampire whose terrifying talent of mind-control holds her more tightly than chains, wants control of The United One; Alyson. A vampire of great power unlike any other, Alyson is a good friend to Felicity and a dear covenmate of… 
Cain, a vampire who declared his love for Felicity, but left her to fulfill her dreams of having a human family. Since renouncing his vampiric tendencies, Cain’s existence has been one of self-sacrifice and benevolence. To rescue Felicity, he would have to betray Alyson and endanger the world, an act that would torture his conscience for eternity. 
Perhaps Felicity’s husband Ben can rescue her, but to ensure Felicity’s safety he would have to play by Arif’s rules. Is Ben willing to make a deal with the devil to retrieve his wife? Or should he put his differences aside to try and work with Cain, his former rival, to find a solution? Cain may be able to help rescue Felicity, but is he willing to give her up…again? 
Alyson has never been one to meekly follow others. Is it time for The United One to take a stand of her own? Her blood dictates that her divine destiny is to rule vampire-kind. Maybe it is time to lay down some rules! A battle is sure to ensue…can Alyson protect everyone she loves? 
Will Felicity survive Arif’s wrath to keep her life…and her humanity, or when all is said and done, will she find herself ALMOST HUMAN? 

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Hello, fellow readers! For this set of reviews, I’m going to review the first trilogy as a whole before reviewing the second one later in the post instead of doing separate reviews for each book to make it easier. Also, I recommend you read the trilogies as a whole instead of the separate books. It’s easier to understand and flows better this way.

This first set revolves about college freshman Felicity who begins to go to college in a small town that is plagued by vampires. She works at a local bookstore and meets Cain while being attacked by local vampires when she is walking home with her coworker Ben. Cain fights them off and instantly attracts Felicity due to him rescuing her.

There are Twilight vibes through the first book, but it gains it’s own footing after the first few chapters. I was wondering why Felicity’s parents were old fashioned due to the fact she didn’t have a cell phone. She is very immature despite her age, but since she came from a pretty heavily controlled background I could understand that. She eventually began growing up as through the first installment. Still, I struggled to like her. I almost wanted to spray her with cold water, she would not chill out with all the boy talk.

Now, Cain reminded me like Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Tall, strong brooding game, and a whole lot of guilt he is clearly carrying on his back. He has a lot to teach Felicity when it comes to vampires. Also, huge knight and shining armor allure to him that you can’t help but admire.

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This book is mainly used as a platform of what the rest of the series is going to look like. There wasn’t a whole lot of action and it was pretty slow. I felt like I was watching a new teen vampire drama in my head and achingly waited for it to pick up. Instead, it abruptly stopped right when it began to make a turnaround. There were repetitive pieces that could have been removed to insert content from the sequel and it was annoying. On the other hand, it made me want to jump into the next book.

The second book throws us back into the aftermath of the first book. We get a deeper look into the past of the villain, Sindy, and our sweet lover, Cain. And, wait for it, we get zombies. That’s right, you heard me right…ZOMBIES!

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The second “chapter” is more developed than the first and overall it flows much better than the first. Cain and Felicity’s relationship gets steamier, but it turns out that he may have feelings for Sindy as well. I remember when I read this parts and I was like, “Um, excuse me? No, no, just NO!” I don’t care if she is like a vampire version of Faith from Buffy and Cain feels for her. No! No excuse!

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The repetitiveness continued, however, and it made it hard for me to continue at times. I pressed through because I needed to know what happened in the final book. And oh, was I ready for it!

So, Cain bites Felicity in order to protect her from other vampires. It kind of reminded me of Bill Compton from True Blood claiming Sookie. Except instead of verbally saying it, he bites her and therefore seals the deal. According to this series vampire lore, the venom secreted from a vampire’s fangs can become addicting. In other vampire books, we see this issue come up time and time again. Add in that Felicity is still an immature, barely legal teen puts a damper on the whole situation as well, but I digress. Love is love, even in a paranormal romance novel.

tumblr_nq2dzgpQw51teja04o1_250.gifBen, Felicity’s friend from the very beginning, become more to the forefront in this book and weird things begin happening involving those two. I’m not talking platonic things either….

This final book in this volume is one where I couldn’t comprehend what I was reading half the time because it did not go how I expected it too. It just didn’t. See, Ben’s father comes to town and turns things upside down. Others may be surprised with the secret he reveals, but I actually wasn’t. Maybe it’s because it was apparent due to Ben’s draw for killing vampires…maybe.

We also get the future trilogy established through Alyson, Ben’s friend from the first book who continues to be there in the background of the second and third book. She’s dating a vampire as well and he returns to give her the gift of immortality and thus, we will be siding along with Allie more so in the second trilogy and placing Felicity and Cain on the back burner.

Rating 6

For the second trilogy, I’m going to sum it all of up in one word: Intense. Allie’s transformation into a vampire reaps strange results because she is now wielding some serious power that no other vampire has. She is taken under Cain’s wing in order for him to teach her ways on how to keep those around her safe and also what she may be able to do with her powers. Oh, I forgot to mention he is a brooding mess because *spoiler* he abandoned Felicity in the last book.

The first half of the second series is mainly about Allie turning into a vampire and being about Allie, Mattie, and Cain. Ben and Felicity’s relationship is taking place in the background mostly then everything comes to a head in the final book of it. It’s a step up from the previous series. It had it’s draggy moments, but overall I like the second trilogy better than the first.

If you need a vampire fix – give this series a try!

Rating 7

Want a chance to win 3x Paperback Sets and Swag Packs?

Enter Here!

 

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Book Tour, ARC Reviews, & Giveaway: The Thorne Brothers Series By Lee Kilraine

Book Tour, ARC Reviews, & Giveaway: The Thorne Brothers Series By Lee Kilraine

Titles: Give It Up & Give and Take
Author: Lee Kilraine
Series: The Thorn Brothers
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Google Play/Kobo
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Give It Up

Beckett. Asher. Gray. Eli. Ryker. Wyatt. Five out of six very different brothers reunited—and working to make their construction firm a success. But oldest brother Beckett just found their major new project becoming one hard and sexy challenge . . .

A rough childhood tore Beckett and his brothers apart. It took everything he had to track them down and establish Six Brothers Construction. He only trusts them—and his drive to win. Now if SBC can build a billionaire team owner’s much-hyped new mansion, it will put them on the map—and finally fulfill Beckett’s promise to take care of his siblings. Too bad he’ll have to collaborate with hot new rival Samantha Devine, who’s throwing him curves on-site, out-the-box . . . and between the sheets.

Sam knows from experience that arrogant good-ole-boy Beckett is long, strong, and built to go the distance. But this is her only shot to prove she and her fledgling design company can succeed on her own terms. She’ll match Beckett’s expertise by day—and reignite the explosive heat between them by night. But when passion threatens to become real love, will this competition separate them for good . . . or make the sizzling collaboration of a lifetime?

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Give and Take

Six Brothers Construction was built to reunite a family and heal a painful past. So far it’s opened to rave reviews. But the youngest sibling is about to discover that the right woman can shake even a rock-solid foundation . . .

Wyatt Thorne was so traumatized by his mother’s abandonment he didn’t speak until he was six. At 26, he’s still the quiet type—strong and silent, most comfortable with a hammer in his hand and work to do. But the reassuring rhythm of his life is interrupted when his brother Beckett decides to pay forward their unused office space to a needy start-up. Enter Rhia Hollis, flighty, impulsive, and outspoken—everything that drives Wyatt crazy. Only this time in the sexiest, most irresistible way . . .

Rhia is determined to disprove her reckless, party girl image by making her new company, Seize the Day, the premier event planning firm in Raleigh. She has big dreams, and the Thornes’ offer of a free command center is a huge help. But Wyatt’s gruff, stubborn resistance to her presence is an annoying hindrance. They’re as different as night and day, yet when they begin to meet in the middle, the sparks fly hot. Is this a case of opposites distract—or the beginning of a beautiful long-term project?

 

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Before I begin my reviews, I’d like to take a moment….

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Ok, now I’m good to go. Let’s dive into these two books of lust, banter, and a whole lot of Thorne!

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The Throne brothers, aside from a construction business, have a long line of former lovers under their belt which is established throughout the beginning of the novel. Beckett, in particular, believes in this curse due to the fact that all of the families’ relationships, however brief, are quick to fade into the black as quick as they were to begin. He doesn’t have time to attempt any such maneuvers with anyone in particular. Well, that is except one woman who slipped through his fingers after a steamy encounter.

Samantha Devine has worked her butt off to establish her design business with her best friend. Coming from a background where her father is a well-known builder, she abandoned him due to his mistreatment.  And despite all odds, she’d obviously do anything to keep it afloat.

The universe (or the author in this case) works it’s magic by bringing in a client who wants both Samantha and Beckett’s companies to work together to create the perfect home in five months. Five months! I could not imagine a project that huge complete in that short amount of time let alone work with someone I had a, well, pleasant encounter that turned sour.

Anyway, Samantha and Beckett struggle initially to put their differences to aside to complete the task. Only their way of putting them aside is not the conventional way we would perceive to taking care of them…if you know what I mean…tumblr_nzht9h2fO01r2pp2to1_500.gif

The book basically establishes the Thorne brothers and their individual personalities. This one pertaining to Beckett and Sam, is the perfect beginning to a series and I was completely more than ready to jump into the sequel!

Rating 9

 

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This one surrounds Wyatt Thorne. Now, Beckett practically raised his brothers. Wyatt, in particular, took the trauma of their families’ problems to heart through the inability to speak until his twenties. He takes his work in the company seriously and pours himself into it and he’s perfectly fine with keeping to himself and doing so. That is until Beckett decides to rent out a part of their office to a new event planning business. But low and behold, the owner, Rhia, is a former partier who is trying to get her feet on the ground through her new business venture and in doing so continues to step on Wyatts toes, so to speak.

A side story in this one is continued from the first book where the brothers hired a P.I. in order to find their missing brother Ryker and they accidentally discover an unknown sister instead.

These books keep getting progressively better and better. I am eager to see if they ever find Ryker and what other secrets they may uncover as each brother proves that maybe they aren’t cursed and can find love.

Rating 9

 

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Want a Chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card? Enter Here!

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Scorchin’ By Olivia Rush

Book Blitz, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Scorchin’ By Olivia Rush

Scorchin

 

Title: Scorchin’
Author: Olivia Rush
Series: The Hot Boys Series Bk. 2
Release Date: September 20th, 2018
Available: Amazon
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hs- about the book

New York’s hottest fireman just got hotter.

As a top journalist, I’ll do anything for a story.
The hotter the story, the better.
And hot’s just what I get when Stone Black from the Fire Station 128 came into my life.

Love wasn’t part of the plan, but those gorgeous green eyes and a hose big enough to put out my fire won me over.
I try to keep it physical, my career allowing no time for romance, but I soon learn there’s more than meets the eye with Stone.
He’s not just one of New City’s finest fireman, he’s a loving single father.
Now, he’s ready to tear down my professional boundaries, to take what he wants.

Soon I’m dangerously close to my story, and only Stone can protect me.
And when I find out I’m carrying his baby, it’s clear that if I’m not careful I just might get burned.

Maybe…that’s just what I want.

 

hs- about the author

Olivia writes romantic suspense with a healthy dose of steam. She loves writing about beautiful characters in adventurous tales. Olivia lives with a sometimes nice teen, her awesome hubby, and the world’s coolest cat. Netflix is watched daily in the Rush household and coffee is run through an IV drip.

Want to try her work for free? Paste this link into your browser: BookHip.com/BHNGWP

Contact

Website/Facebook/Goodreads

 

hs- giveaway

Want a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card?

Enter Giveaway Here!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Book Blitz & Giveaway: The Devil to Pay By Jackie May

Book Blitz & Giveaway: The Devil to Pay By Jackie May

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Title: The Devil to Pay
Author: Jackie May
Series: Shayne Davies Bk. 1
Release Date: September 18th, 2018
Available: Amazon
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gb- about the book

When it comes to talented new recruits at the Federal Underworld Agency, Nora Jacobs is only half the story…

The Devil to Pay is the first book in Jackie May’s companion series to Nora Jacobs, set in the same urban fantasy Detroit, sharing several supporting characters (hello, Nick Gorgeous), but with a new main character, Shayne Davies. This series can be enjoyed on its own, but readers of the Nora Jacobs books will be more familiar with the world and its characters.

As a fox shifter, Shayne Davies gets no respect in an underworld run by the fearsome and powerful—werewolves and vampires, sorcerers, demons, and mythical faerie creatures. Even at home, Shayne is still treated like the brat of the pack. Her mom constantly nags; her intended (but unwanted) mate ensures plenty of awkward silences, and Shayne is even expected to act submissive to the pack’s future alpha…a six year old.

Yeah. Time for Plan B.

All Shayne wants is to prove that she’s got what it takes to run with the big dogs, which is why she is constantly hounding Nick Gorgeous to make her an agent at the “Double D”, the Detroit Division of the FUA. That’s an easy “No” for Gorgeous, who keeps a strict “No Shayne Davies” policy. Well, never say never. When mysterious underworld criminals steal a load of bomb materials, the FUA picks up a messy case nobody wants to touch. It’s bad enough that a demon horde is involved, but now the annoying FBI has sent out an agent to babysit the investigation. To make matters worse, the notoriously uncooperative master vampire Henry Stadther has control over what may be the only key to breaking the case: a handsome human detective.

The whole thing’s a hopeless disaster.

So guess what, Shayne? You’re hired!

gb- about the author
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Jackie Mayis a pseudonym for a husband and wife writing team. Josh and Kelly live in Phoenix, Arizona with their four children and their cat, Mr. Darcy. Jackie May is their only daughter. (And she keeps asking for her cut of the profits since we’re using her name.)

Contact

Website/Twitter/Facebook/Goodreads

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gb- giveaway

Want a Chance to win a Signed set of the Two Nora Jacobs (Don’t Rush Me & Don’t Cheat Me) books?

Enter Giveaway Here!

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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ARC Review: Luminata by Yvonne Carder

ARC Review: Luminata by Yvonne Carder

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Title: Luminata
Author: Yvonne Carder
Series: Meclauks Kingdom Series
Release Date: June 18th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

inn - about the book

A sunken curse. A hidden faerie realm. To save her kingdom, one girl must discover the magic within her heart.

Behind castle walls, Jessi Kleinfield dreams of adventure outside her quiet kingdom. But the once-peaceful realm falls into chaos when an evil sorceress stirs up ancient rivalries and banishes her palace home to an underwater prison. After narrowly escaping the rising tide, Jessi and her trusty dog can only watch helplessly as the waves swallow her family.

In her quest to lift the watery curse, she soon learns there’s more to her kingdom than meets the eye. Hidden in plain sight, she discovers the entrance to an enchanted faerie realm. As she learns that her canine companion is hiding secrets of his own, a surprising magic stirs deep within her. With help from her new faerie friend, Jessi must learn to harness her powers before the dark spell wears off and steals her loved ones’ last breath.

inn- about the author

Yvonne Carder

Yvonne Carder is a Young Adult Fantasy Author that has published ‘Luminata: Book 1 in the Meclauks Kingdom Series’ and ‘Star Flame: A Story from the Meclauks Kingdom’. She is currently working on book two in the series.

Yvonne lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband Kevin, and her 2 cats, Princess Pumpkin Doodle, and Nichademus. Yvonne has a love for animals that she strives to show in her work.

She has lived in California since 1982 when she and her parents emigrated from Germany. Most of her family is still in Germany with the exception of some of her Dad’s family in the Midwest. Her roots in Germany are something that she is very proud of and it influences her writing.

Yvonne is a proud member of The Alliance of Independent Authors, An Alliance of Young Adult Authors, California Writers Club, Tri-Valley Writers Club, and 20Booksto50k, where she continues to work on her craft and elevate Independent Publishers. A rising tide lifts all ships.

Contact

Website/Twitter/Goodreads

inn- my review

First, this cover is absolutely stunning! If I ever am able to get the moon tattoo I’ve been trying to plan on getting for the last three years, the design would definitely based on the artwork on her shoulder! Beautiful!

Now to the review, we meet Jessi trying to recover from watching her friend drown in the river. Anytime she goes by water, she immediately has flashbacks and panic attacks. One day she finally is able to go into the water except it immediately seems to become alive and try to swallow her up. That is until she is saved by a mysterious dog who becomes her companion for the rest of the novel.

But how could a river suddenly seem alive like that? According to Jessi’s grandmother, the gods need to be appeased and so they choose their victims and suck them down to drown.  Jessi’s grandmother made a bargain with the gods in exchange to take her instead of Jessi into the water. But why does this have to happen? Enter in an evil sorceress who is bent on drowning the kingdom under the rising waters.

Jessi embarks on a long journey of discovery, magic, and secrets to which she never could imagine. This YA fantasy stands out to me from all of the ones I have read lately. It’s fresh, exciting, and left me hanging on till the last page. This is definitely one you should add to your fantasy collection!

 

Rating 9

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Double Review: Some Girls Bite & Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires 1 & 2) By Chloe Neill

Double Review: Some Girls Bite & Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires 1 & 2) By Chloe Neill

In honor of the release of the spin-off series for the Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill, I decided to binge read all thirteen books before diving into my ARC copy. I’m halfway through the series, but I want to touch base on the first two books then review the next two in the next couple days.

I already have a love-hate relationship with this series. I love Merit’s humor. Her and her sire Ethan’s banter and heated sexual tension (oh the tension). On top of the fact their constant disagreements cause me to want to pop a bag of popcorn and watch the shenanigans ensue.

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My hate comes in with the endless and I mean endless exposition of this world’s version of Chicago. Add on the drowning information about vampires, werewolves, fae, etc., I feel like my brain is about to explode and I am barely, barely halfway through the first book. Yeah, the FIRST book!

To me, when you build your world, you do it gradually and stick your information throughout the story. Not make your book 65% exposition, 20% dialogue, and the rest is action. The minimal action is what my poor reader heart grasps onto for dear life while I continue down this hole.

In this world, vampires have just “come out of the closet” and are trying to be recognized as harmless citizens despite being paranormal creatures with predatory tendencies. They have been grouped into three “Houses” or basically sorority houses based off of who sired the vampires or who the vampires swear their allegiances towards. Those who have not chosen to join a house are considered rogues and therefore dangerous.

The first book gives us Merit (her first name is also her last name, I don’t know why and it’s never fully explained so go with it) is attacked by a vampire on her way home from a college class. As a last minute decision and coincidental circumstances, her sire Ethan happens to be nearby and saves her life without asking her permission to do so. I swear she constantly holds over Ethan’s head and guilt trips him with on a regular basis over this. Believe me, there are times where I scream at the book for her to get over it, especially book two. It never ends.

Unfortunately, Merit is a victim aside from several other girls who have been recently attacked by vampires. Suspicion is quickly thrown upon her sire after a medal from his house, Cadogan House, is found at the scene of one of the murders. Long story short, Merit is assigned as “Sentinel” or protector of the house and we spend the rest of the first book getting down to why these murders are taking place. The ending was lackluster due to the fact the villain revealed at the end was barely there in the story. Serious, they are basically there for a few pages then poof, back to be the culprit. It involves vampire politics and unfair feeding restrictions – that is all I’m going to say.

The second book basically foreshadows the continuation of the possible vampire war that will soon take place. We all know it’s coming, people, we don’t need to hear about it all the time! There is blackmail, red herrings, and the ending leads back to the villain from the first book and *spoiler alert* it’s them behind this series of events.

If you cut out the majority of the exposition from both books, these two could be combined and you wouldn’t know the difference. The first book started off extremely strong until the exposition galore kicked in and the headache of the century followed.

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I wish I could tell you the exposition ceases by the third book, but I’m not going to get your hopes up.

Book 1:

Rating 6

Book 2:

Rating 5

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Quick ARC Review: Twice Dead By Caitlin Seal

Quick ARC Review: Twice Dead By Caitlin Seal

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Title: Twice Dead
Author: Caitlin Seal
Series: The Necromancer’s Song #1
Release Date: September 18th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

**Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy via NetGalley and Charlesbridge Teen in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever.**

ag- about the book

Naya, the daughter of a sea merchant captain, nervously undertakes her first solo trading mission in the necromancer-friendly country bordering her homeland of Talmir. Unfortunately, she never even makes it to the meeting. She’s struck down in the streets of Ceramor. Murdered.

But death is not the end for Naya. She awakens to realize she’s become an abomination–a wraith, a ghostly creature bound by runes to the bones of her former corpse. She’s been resurrected in order to become a spy for her country. Reluctantly, she assumes the face and persona of a servant girl named Blue.

She never intended to become embroiled in political plots, kidnapping, and murder. Or to fall in love with the young man and former necromancer she is destined to betray.

ag- my review

Necromancy. Wraiths. I set my expectations pretty high for this book considering the blurb for it. It sounded complex and uniquely set apart from other YA Fantasy novels that are coming out in this genre. I could not wait to dive in and unravel the first part of this series.

Naya is traveling with her father to a foreign country, Ceramor, that houses a community that accepts necromancy which is forbidden in her country of Talmir. Upon reaching their destination, Naya is murdered and transformed into a creature she was raised to abhor in order to spy on her country.

Ok, I think this book is mainly a foundation for the sequels to come. Do I like that aspect? No, it needed more. More world building, more character development, more challenges – I could go on. If you were sitting with me right now, you’d see the obvious disappointment written on my face because I wanted more substance out of this novel.

Naya’s voice needs to grow stronger, powerful. She has the capability to being a strong character. Do not save your character’s development for future books. Plant the seeds in the first book and allow them to sprout! I waited and waited for sprouting. Nothing. Same goes for the world building. But, I digress….

The series has potential. It truly does, but if you don’t have growth or take the time to go deeper into a world’s history – then that potential goes right out the window. Try this book, but don’t set your allow your expectations to go through the roof.

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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ARC Review: Rock Star’s Heart By Kella Campbell

ARC Review: Rock Star’s Heart By Kella Campbell

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Title: Rock Star’s Heart
Author: Kella Campbell
Release Date: February 28, 2018
Available: Amazon/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

**Disclaimer – I received an ARC copy via NetGalley and Tied Star Books in exchange for a honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever.**

md- about the book

When a twist of fate throws university student Crys Murphy into an unexpected job on tour with a wildly successful rock band, her crush on the guitarist turns into powerful temptation. But there’s a dark side to the glamour and champagne: Blade has anger and addiction issues, a history of partying with groupies, and a tendency to get naked in public — and Crys is supposed to keep him out of trouble.

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As she gets to know the talented and lonely man behind the bad boy behavior, the chemistry between them wavers on the edge of something deeper. But he doesn’t do relationships, and she grew up expecting a white-picket-fence future. Can he reform and open his heart to love? Will she give up her straight-laced upbringing for her troubled rock star?

 

md- my review

The life of a musician is not an easy life, whether you are a signed band, local band, or indie artist. I immediately connected with this story on a personal level because I have friends who are musicians and I’m a singer as well. There is a certain mask you have to put on for the crowd and the person behind the scenes may be completely the opposite.

Crys Matthews gets, in her case, an opportunity of a lifetime by being hired to be her rockstar crush, Blade’s, fake girlfriend/keeper. She automatically beings to realize that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Drug addiction, anger management issues, and a dark past covers Blade like a dark blanket. It’s not unheard of and while reading this, I know several musician friends who were very similar once upon a time.

Crys tries to help as much as she can and pushes her standards aside in order to please everyone, including Blade. Some may see this as her being weak, but when you are put in that sort of a situation and you are not used to that world – that’s what you do. She develops into a strong woman and eventually controls the situation (get it, Girl!).

The chemistry between Blade and Crys is certainly there, like level 11 there (enter in Spinal Tap humor).

She’s definitely the support he needs. I adored both of them together and the chemistry they have. Aside from Blade’s issues, I have to say goals, Ladies and Gentlemen, Goals!

This is a quick, enticing read that’ll make you wish you had a rock star of your own.

Rating 10

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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ARC Review: The Death and Life of Eleanor Parker By Kerry Wilkinson

ARC Review: The Death and Life of Eleanor Parker By Kerry Wilkinson

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Title: The Death and Life of Eleanor Parker
Author: Kerry Wilkinson
Release Date: July 26th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

**Disclaimer – I received an ARC copy via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. This does not effect my opinion whatsoever.**

ag- about the book

‘I will never forget the night I drowned…’

A village with something to hide.

Seventeen-year-old Eleanor Parker wakes up cold and alone in the river that twists through her quiet village. She has no memory of how she got there. But she does know that another girl was drowned in the same river the summer before, held under the water by an unknown killer…

A community torn apart.

Eleanor is a normal, every day teenager. She argues with her mum, spends her days with her best friend, and is looking forward to a carefree summer of sunshine and music. Who would want to hurt her?

A shocking secret.

Determined to unlock the mystery of what really happened to her, Eleanor can’t escape the feeling that something awful links her to the previous summer’s murder. But will she find out the truth before it’s too late?

ag- my review

The premise of this book reminded me of the 2007 thriller The Invisible with Justin Chatwin. He wakes up around a body of water, does not really remember how he got there and has a set time in order to figure out what happened and find his body or else he passes on to the other side. Weird for me to compare a novel to a film, but it just felt too similar not to mention.

Eleanor, 17, wakes up abandoned in a river. She has no memory of the events leading up to this moment. The difference between this and Justin’s story – Eleanor is dead. Coincidently, in the same location as her brother’s former girlfriend the previous summer.

Throughout the novel, Eleanor goes over her current state as the undead. She does not allow this to take her off the path of finding out the truth behind her and the other girl’s murder. Then when another girl disappears, it’s go time in trying to get down to the bottom of everything.

It’s a quick, engaging read and definitely one to pick up and devour during the Fall season!

Rating 7

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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ARC Review: Fresh Ink By Lamar Giles & Various Authors

ARC Review: Fresh Ink By Lamar Giles & Various Authors

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Title: Fresh Ink: An Anthology
Author(s): Schulyler Bailer, Melissa De La Cruz, Sara Farizan, Sharon G. Flake, Eric Gansworth, Malinda Lo, Walter Dean Meyers, Daniel Jose Older, Then Pham, Jason Reynolds, Aminah Mae Safi, Gene Luen Yang, Nicola Yoon
Release Date: August 14th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Kobo/Google Play/Book Depository/Indigo
Add to Goodreads

**Disclaimer: I received an ARC Copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever.**

 

Synopsis:

In partnership with We Need Diverse Books, thirteen of the most recognizable, diverse authors come together in this remarkable YA anthology featuring ten short stories, a graphic short story, and a one-act play from Walter Dean Myers never before in-print.

Careful–you are holding fresh ink. And not hot-off-the-press, still-drying-in-your-hands ink. Instead, you are holding twelve stories with endings that are still being written–whose next chapters are up to you.

Because these stories are meant to be read. And shared.

Thirteen of the most accomplished YA authors deliver a label-defying anthology that includes ten short stories, a graphic novel, and a one-act play. This collection will inspire you to break conventions, bend the rules, and color outside the lines. All you need is fresh ink.

My Review

Each of these stories are uniquely crafted to stand out from one another. Many of these are contemporary short stories with romance tied into it hand-in-hand. Other genres featured were sci-fi, historical fiction, and fantasy. But, I was kind of looking to having more of a mixture instead of them mainly being contemporary. I’m not a huge fan of contemporary stories but I pushed that aside to read most of these.

Eraser Tattoo By: Jason Reynolds

Childhood sweethearts Shay and Dante are about to be tested in a way they’ve never been before. Shay is moving to another city while Dante remains behind. The relationship between the two is beautifully painted through flashbacks, inside jokes, and finally an eraser tattoo on both of their arms to remind them of their love for one another. I wish to know if Shay and Dante meet again in the future and their end, but I guess that’s the hidden beauty of this anthology so far.

Meet Cute By: Malinda Lo

Now this one takes place at Denver Con, a convention in Colarado. I haven’t gone to a convention in a few years, but this story brought me back to the world of cosplay, union amongst fellow nerds, and fun. The main character, Nic connects with fellow cosplayer Tamia and we are supposed to witness their budding attraction. This short story was a bit longer than necessary and the chemistry needed a lot of work between the main characters.

Don’t Pass Me By: Eric Gansworth

This story surrounds a Native American boy who stands up for his race in not your average way. In our world, some schools and people still hold onto past beliefs about different cultures instead of embracing them with open arms. This short story is one of the few that stand out from all of the rest in this collection.

Be Cool For Once By: Aminah Mae Safi

All I’m going to say is music can bring people together, but that doesn’t mean you should have a complete freak out over seeing your crush there.

Tags By: Walter Dean Myers

Wow, ok, never before have I really seen a one-act play featured in an anthology story. Can we get a film or actual physical representation of this play, please? This story is about a group of boys who were murdered and their connection to one another through their personal events. Definitely one of my favorites out of this collection.

Why I Learned How to Cook By: Sara Farizan

Family is very important inspiring certain events or future talents in members. This one, though, is all about acceptance. A girl is nervous about bringing her new girlfriend around her grandmother. It’s one of the few LGBTQ stories and worth the read. Be sure to have a box of tissues in hand!

A Stranger at the Bochinche By: Daniel Jose Older

Ah, I was waiting for the sci-fi story to pop up and here it is. The concept was there, yes, but it needed more elaboration. If this was given the chance to have been given the full-fledged novel treatment, I believe it’s reception could have been better.

A Boy’s Duty By: Sharon G. Flake

Travel back to WWII where racism is at it’s highest. An African American boy has a goal of going into the Navy and other endeavors. However, it was still a dark time in both our history and abroad. It was ok, needed work, but give it a chance all the same.

One Voice By: Melissa De La Cruz

I have a love-hate relationship with Melissa De La Cruz. I grew up with her Van Alen Legacy series and some of her stand-alone novels. There are times where she wrote creative, indulging stories one moment and the next some where I struggled finishing. This is one of those stories where she made me fall in love with her writing once again. It touches upon modern day issues like misogyny and prejudice against other cultures. Another favorite!

Paladin/Samurai Written By: Gene Luen Yang; Illustrated By: Then Pham

This graphic novel is not the strongest I’ve read. The main character in this story engages his fantasy of becoming a Samurai in a D&D game. While I liked them utilizing one of my friend’s favorite games that I’m still trying to get into (I really am trying, guys), I wished this story was better. Pretty disappointed in it, not going to lie.

Catch, Pull, Drive By: Schuyler Bailar

This story features a local high school swimmer is going through the transition of coming out as trans to his swim team. The events following are heartbreaking. The character is brave and is goes through bullying as a result of him being himself. Wonderful read and tremendously realistic.

Super Human By: Nicola Yoon

Are humans worth saving if they are still filled with hate towards those who are different? This is a dilemma brought up and a great way to wrap up this series.

For this diverse collection, there were some positive stories while others needed work. Our world is vast, filled with unique individuals, but how can a society grow if they cannot learn to embrace everyone? This anthology brings up that question often throughout, making this stand out for readers everywhere.

Comment below if you have read this anthology series yet!

What did you think?

 

Rating 6

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Blog Tour & Review: Magic Born By Rayane

Blog Tour & Review: Magic Born By Rayane

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Title: Magic Born
Author: Rayanne Haines
Series: The Guardian Series Bk. 2
Release Date: June 6th, 2018
Genre: Adult, Paranormal Romance
Available: Amazon
Add to Goodreads

 

inn - about the book

Maria Del Voscova is a powerful witch with a past. When she’s asked to become a member of the elite Guardians she knows she can’t risk sharing the truth about her messed-up family. But we don’t always get what we want. Sometimes, we don’t always know what we want.

Though Mar absolutely knows she doesn’t want Neeren, King of the Parthen. She alone sees the darkness in him and it reminds her too much of the past. She knows better than to fall for his stoic, tortured soul façade.

She’s training to be a Guardian, a shadow; tasked with keeping the balance between good and evil in the world. It’s what she wants—to be better than her family was.

But the past has a way of catching up to Mar and the future has a morbid sense of humor. On her first mission, she’s kidnapped by the enemy she’s been running from her entire life. Thankfully the guardians look after their own. As it turns out, so does Neeren.

As Mar finds herself caught between the past and the future; between blood and bond; between the light and the dark, she realizes her only chance at surviving may be in trusting a man who is the most dangerous of them all.

 

inn- about the author

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Rayanne Haines grew up on a small horse ranch in Alberta. She spent most of her youth re-enacting scenes from Anne of Green Gables to attentive audiences that included pygmy goats and roan stallions. The horses were thrilled. Her father could never figure out why it took her three hours to clean the barn.

Her mother is an avid reader and instilled a love of literature in her at a young age. She has always been fascinated with learning people’s stories.

She has a fondness for mountains and rivers and all the creatures that live within them. She believes in magic and the search for great love. She loves to write about strong women who will accept nothing less.

Contact

Website/Goodreads/Facebook/Twitter

 

inn- my review

This second installment in the Magic Born series is a step up from the first. It picks up where the original left off and takes you back to the world of paranormal Guardians, witches, and shifters. I need to point out, though, that there were some continuity issues, but it didn’t take much away from the initial story.

This story focuses on Dreamwalker and King of the Parthen Neeran, Alex’s brother, and sassy sorceress Mar. Mar is kidnapped while on a mission and Neeran is sent after her to rescue her. The chemistry between these two are pretty interesting to say the least. The foundation was built in the first book and carried over quite nicely to this next book and continued to flourish right before my eyes.

I’m very attached to these characters and much like the first one, the action kicks right in and never lets you go till the very end. I can’t wait to see what may happen in the next book!

 

Rating 7

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

 

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Book Tag: Not Just Another Book Tag

Book Tag: Not Just Another Book Tag

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Shout out to the wonderful Ashlee at My Bookish Life for creating this book tag and taking the time to come up it! Check out her blog and send her love!

I haven’t done one of these in a very long time…..Let’s do this!

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Are you the only reader in your family?

I come from a long line of readers. Three of my grandmothers were huge readers when I grew up. My Grandma B was the main one out of all three who got me started in the first place. She’d take me to the library to get the old Disney books on cassette to listen too. My Mamaw K. was the one who mainly read to me. One of the books I mainly remember asking her to read me was a condensed younger children’s book version of The Wizard of Oz. I didn’t meet my Grandma H. till I was almost eighteen. I still remember walking into her personal library for the first time and realized where my love of mysteries and the paranormal derived from.

My mom is a huge reader and I got my stepmother back into reading when I was in high school. While I may not have a lot of male readers in my family, I’m thankful for each person in my family who pushed me to read. It helped make me who I am today.

What is your favourite genre and why?

This is a difficult one because I have a blend of tastes. On one hand, I adore Paranormal romance novels while on the other, I’m a sucker for a juicy mystery. Fantasy has a soft spot in my heart, but it has to have an impactful story. All in all, I don’t have a specific favorite, much like my music, it is all blended together.

If you could meet any author, who would it be and what’s one question you would ask them?

….Meep….well…um…this is tough. I have too many. The first one, above all, would be J.K. Rowling. Shocker because I adore R.L. Stine and grew up reading his Fear Street series and became borderline obsessed with collecting all of them. As much as I would like to meet him, J.K. is before him.

Question I would ask would probably be if she’d consider writing another spin-off series in the Harry Potter world aside from Fantastic Beasts.

Do you prefer to sit up or lay down when reading?

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I’m either laying down on my back or laying on my stomach. Lately, though, I’ve been finding myself laying on my stomach more than anything else these days.

How do you buy your books, online or instore?

I actually don’t have a preference. The books I purchase online are mainly ones you can’t easily find in stores. I’m in a bar book club by my place where we read the classics only they are not your average classics (i.e. On the RoadClockwork Orange, Rosemary’s Baby, etc.). I usually go online for these instead of the store because either their copies are expensive or they don’t have them.

Who is your favourite book villain and why?

Don’t kill me for this, but, Pennywise. Now, hear me out. If you haven’t read It by Stephen King or have seen the films, you need to ASAP. He is the perfect villain. Some people like certain villains because of attractiveness or back story. I personally like Pennywise because you never fully know what you are going to get. He can literally transform into anything anyone can imagine. That is terrifying more than anything due to the fact he knows whatever form you are afraid of. Try sleeping when you know he is in your world.

How did you become a part of the bookish community?

I’ve been reviewing books for at least four and a half years, but my blog has been around for three out of those years. I used to mainly review on Goodreads and Amazon at the time then decided to start my little book review haven on here. I watch BookTube every now and then to keep up with what’s going on in the bookish community aside from the book blog community. I have loved being a part of this beloved community nonetheless.

Have your book choices changed over the years as you’ve grown older?

Surprisingly, they haven’t changed 100%. I have always loved mysteries and the paranormal. The only thing that has changed are my expectations with a certain story and writing style.

Has being a reader ever made you think of writing your own book?

I am actually a writer. Book wise, I haven’t attempted to write a book since college, unfortunately. But, I do have plenty of ideas that I write down in various notebooks I have. I mainly write free style poems and lyrics these days. Can’t play an instrument, but write my heart out in lyrics. Then again, I am thinking about possibly trying to write a book again.

What part of a book do you enjoy the most, characters, plot or world building?

Has to be world building. If I don’t feel like I’m in the world an author is trying to create, why continue to be a part of the journey? The characters are merely players and the world is the stage like reality and Shakespeare’s famous words. Proper world building is a must for me to keep reading.

 

And there it is! I challenge/tag everyone who is reading to take this challenge! Don’t forget to mention Ashlee in your posts and also tag me in them so I can read your answers!

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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ARC Review: Romani Blood By Frances Trilone

ARC Review: Romani Blood By Frances Trilone

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Title: Romani Blood
Author: Frances Trilone
Series: Shifter Blood: Romani Curse Bk. 1
Release Date: July 28th, 2018
Available: Amazon
Add to Goodreads

 

inn - about the book

WOLVES. WITCHES. A TOWN FULL OF SECRETS.

Seventeen-year-old Sienna doesn’t like her new home in Woodlake, Michigan. The moment she enters the small Romani community, she has to follow their strict rules – No boys. No school. No cell phones.

Forced to work at the cafe, Sienna meets Kaleb and her world changes forever. He’s unlike anyone she has ever met. He’s dangerous, forbidden, and a shapeshifter. She quickly realizes that falling in love with the wrong guy can be riskier than she’d ever imagined.

With a tourist missing and a killer on the loose, the Town Council and Romani Elders agree to join forces with the Norwood wolves. But when the evidence leads straight to Kaleb and more secrets are exposed, Sienna must choose…

Loyalty to her Romani blood?

Or love for the enemy, a Norwood wolf?

inn- about the author

Frances Trilone writes YA paranormal romance and fantasy. She was born in New Jersey, went to high school in Japan, graduated from college in New York City, and now lives in Texas. When she’s not writing, she likes to hike, read, watch movies, and spend time with family and friends. Some of her favorite things are: coffee, Thai food, animals, and Supernatural.

Contact

Website/Twitter/Goodreads

inn- my review

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Never before have I read werewolves and Romani gypsies put together in one novel. I actually haven’t read many books with gypsies involved in the paranormal world, period. This book had Twilight vibes; however, this book gives itself it’s own name and place in the YA Paranormal Fantasy genre.

After losing her father and now her mother’s stage three cancer diagnosis, Sienna moves with her mother back to her mother’s childhood home in the small town of Woodlake. Her mother fled her small community after being married to her gaje or non-Romani father. Since Sienna wasn’t raised in the Romani customs, she quickly has to adjust to the strict rules of the Romani community: no cell phones (except for work), no boys, pitching in on her mother’s bills, ect..

She starts working in at a small cafe in town popularized by tourists and the locals. She meets these group of “attractive” individuals who take care of a wolf community on a small off the coast island called Norwood Isle. The werewolf key in this story is introduced innocently enough through these characters, but you assume who the werewolves are of the story right off the bat.

A tourist goes missing in the woods of Norwood Isle, sending the Romani community and the Norwood employees or “werewolves” into trying to get to the bottom of who or what is happening in the small town of Woodlake. The “forbidden romance” between Kaleb and Sienna is relatively cute to say the least despite the insta-love trope. The mystery definitely kept me guessing to the very end, but it was a very fulfilling end to say the least, leaving room for the sequel.

Sienna, as a character, starts off as the normal angsty teenage girl trying to adjust to her surroundings and people. It took me a bit to warm up to her due to the immaturity, but she grew up through the story and it was a huge relief. Character development and growth go hand in hand in YA novels and they have become high on list lately. I sought for it greatly with this book, in particular, and was not disappointed.

If you were missing or seeking a good YA paranormal romance featuring werewolves, be sure to add this to your list!

 

Rating 8

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Blog Tour & Review: A Girl of White Winter By Barb Hendee

Blog Tour & Review: A Girl of White Winter By Barb Hendee

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Title: A Girl of White Winter
Author: Barb Hendee
Series: A Dark Glass #3
Release Date: August 7th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

 

Click Here to Read my Review on the Previous Two Installments

 

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Kara, as a ward with no parentage and no future, has been raised knowing nothing outside her lady’s chambers. Until Royce Capello, a visiting nobleman, is struck by her ice-pale looks, and demands her as payment for the land the family needs.

With barely time to protest, Kara is sold and packed off for a life as a concubine—until a raiding party descends on Royce’s company and she’s kidnapped for the second time in as many days.

Whatever happens, Kara will be alone in the world, inexperienced and fearing even the vast unfamiliar sky. But one raider gives her a choice—and a magic mirror appears to show her where each path will lead…

~She can leave with her protector Raven and journey with his performing troupe, competing for his mercurial affections.

~She can flee the raiders’ settlement, and return to Royce’s manor, chattel among devious nobility.

~Or she can stay in the settlement, bound to firm, silent Caine, who is as gentle as he is staid and inscrutable.

Her fates twist and turn to affect far more than she could have guessed, tangling the bitter with the sweet—and Kara must choose which consequences she can live with…

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Barb Hendee is the New York Times bestselling author of The Mist-Torn Witches series. She is the co-author (with husband J.C.) of the Noble Dead Saga. She holds a master’s degree in composition/rhetoric from the University of Idaho and currently teaches writing for Umpqua Community College. She and J.C. live in a quirky two-level townhouse just south of Portland, Oregon.

Contact

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Amazon/Goodreads

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I can’t believe almost a year has flown by since I reviewed the previous two installments in this series. Each show the possible outcomes of choices these young women make and their affects on the kingdoms they reside. This one, however, is different from the previous two.

This new installment involves a girl who was born without a title due to her parentage of her father being a nobleman and her mother a servant out of wedlock. Her aunt, the nobleman’s sister and lady of the house, has kept young Kara under close watch and protection since birth. That is until her husband sells Kara to a Royce Capello as a mistress to his home.

Through a series of unfortunate yet kind of fortunate events, she is left with three possible choices provided by the magic mirror we’ve seen in the previous two books.  Unfortunately, for me, the outcomes of these choice could have been fleshed out more. The second choice of her going back should not have been an option! Who in their right mind would go back to the men you were sold to in the first place? No, there had to be a better option to insert instead of that one.

The biggest issue I had with this installment is that Kara needed more growth! She is met with many opportunities to grow in independence or learn how to open up to the world she is given. I understand coming from a sheltered background can leave you scared of the unknown, but this girl needed to embrace it. She had so much potential and I wish I could have read it.

I still recommend this series, but this is the weakest one compared to the other two.

Rating 5

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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ARC Review: Mean Streaks By Kimberly G. Giarrantano

ARC Review: Mean Streaks By Kimberly G. Giarrantano

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Title: Mean Streaks: Three Short Mysteries
Author: Kimberly G. Giarrantano
Release Date: May 22nd, 2018
Available: Amazon/Kobo/Google Play
Add to Goodreads

**Disclaimer – I received an ARC copy via the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review in any way.**

Synopsis

Maxine’s high-school bully overdoses on heroin. Amber’s dream vacation to Mexico ends with a body on the beach. And Carrie is invited to a sweet sixteen party where the guest of honor is found strangled to death.

Three stories. Three girls. Three murders.

About the Author

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Kimberly G. Giarratano lives in the woods of Northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and small children. A former ESL teacher and YA librarian, Kimberly loves politics, podcasts, and offbeat crime dramas. Her debut novel, Grunge Gods and Graveyards, won the 2015 Silver Falchion Award for Best YA at Killer Nashville.

Contact

Website/Twitter/Goodreads

My Review

There is nothing like a quick Thriller anthology to read by a bonfire in the middle of a warm summer night. Each of these three stories left me wanting more information, more depth, just…more.

Story 1: The Quickest Path

High school is never easy, regardless of how you paint it or believe it is. Maxine Goldfarb knows how it is, especially when you are being bullied by Brent, one of the school’s most popular football players. When she stumbles across his body in the middle of the woods, questions arise. What happened to him? Was it an accident or something more sinister?

This particular story is my favorite out of the three. The end result sneaks up on you pretty quickly. My mouth completely dropped discovering the truth behind Brent’s death. All I will say is, pay attention to the information you are given. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll figure it out.

Story 2: Welcome to Paradise

Vacation. Who wouldn’t want the opportunity to escape the craziness of working, college, or need a break in general from life? Amber Fishman goes on vacation with her family in Mexico for Spring Break. While relaxing by the pool, she befriends Julienne and ends up partying with her on the beach later that night. The more time she spends with Julienne, though, she notices something is a little off about her. The next day a body is discovered where they were partying. The body of a boy Julienne was rumored to be involved with. Did she have something to do with it and is Amber in danger?

This story wasn’t as deep as the previous one. I understood why certain events occurred in the first story, but the second one felt rushed and it left me very confused. I re-read it just in case I missed something. It didn’t matter, it needed more descriptions, background, and explanation for what happened.

Story 3: Peach Party Dress

Rebecca Green is used to being the outsider in her school. When she received an invitation to Melissa Gunner’s Sweet Sixteenth birthday party, she wondered what is the true intentions after their falling out not long ago. Not long ago, there was a hit-and-run involving their classmate Teddy, leaving him unresponsive in a coma. Rebecca encounters Melissa during the party and gets in a slight altercation which leads to many accusing her of murder after Melissa’s body was discovered.

This story has various suspects as to who murdered Melissa. The possibilities are endless. Imagine Clue set with teenagers and Riverdale-style drama. And the ending? AHHHHHHHH *Positive Screaming*

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Definitely try this anthology out if you need something quick or aching to add to your Thriller collection!

Rating 8

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Quick ARC Review: Sky in the Deep By Adrienne Young

Quick ARC Review: Sky in the Deep By Adrienne Young

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Title: Sky in the Deep
Author: Adrienne Young
Release Date: April 24th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Indie Bookstore
Add to Goodreads

 

Synopsis

OND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE.

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield — her brother, fighting with the enemy — the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

My Review

A Viking inspired tale, a simple yet complex plot, and opposing peoples brought up to hate one another through misconceptive means.  It’s taken me awhile to compile my thoughts over this, but in the end, it’s worth the wait. With an action-packed opening sure to capture the eyes of readers everywhere, it laid down the foundation of what the future events held.

The story follows an ancient blood feud between the Riki and the Aska leads to a full-blown war between the families. Eelyn, an Aska, fights for her people only to be captured by Reiki forces and kept as a slave. She quickly learns how similar the people are to her own and realizes how wrong the feud truly is. But will the families push their prejudices aside in order to fight the terror lurking in the dark.

Amazing debut for Adienne Young! I’m excited to see what else she may bring. If you ever have a chance to read this, do it!

Rating 8

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Book Blitz & Giveaway: A Pilgrimage to Death By Alexa Padgett

Book Blitz & Giveaway: A Pilgrimage to Death By Alexa Padgett

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Title: A Pilgrimage to Death
Author: Alexa Padgett
Seires: Reverend Cici Gurule Mystery
Release Date: August 14th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

They murdered her sister. They threatened her church. But their day of reckoning will cost her everything…

When Cici Gurule finds the dead body of a parishioner in the nearby Santa Fe National Forest, she’s horrified to realize the victim bears the same stab wounds that ended her twin sister’s life one year earlier.

Now, as a freewheeling, progressive reverend who’ll stop at nothing to protect her flock, she’ll need to join forces with her detective friend and loyal pair of Great Pyrenees to hunt down the killer before she’s forced to officiate another funeral.

Soon, however, Cici discovers her sister was on the trail of a deep-rooted criminal operation, and her death was no random act of violence. With the criminals out for Cici’s blood, she needs to catch the wolf by the tail…before it goes in for the kill.

Fans of Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, and Stacy Claflin will love Alexa’s Padgett’s new edge-of-your-seat novel! Scroll up and click to start this fast-paced, high-octane mystery thriller.

About the Author

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With a degree in international marketing and a varied career path that includes content management for a web firm, marketing direction for a high-profile sports agency, and a two-year stint with a renowned literary agency, award-winning author Alexa Padgett has returned to her first love: writing fiction.

Alexa spent a good part of her youth traveling. From Budapest to Belize, Calgary to Coober Pedy, she soaked in the myriad smells, sounds, and feels of these gorgeous places, wishing she could live in them all—at least for a while. And she does in her books.

She lives in New Mexico with her husband, children, and Great Pyrenees pup, Ash. When not writing, schlepping, or volunteering, she can be found in her tiny kitchen, channeling her inner Barefoot Contessa.

Contact

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads

Giveaway

Want to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card?

Enter Here!

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Quick ARC Review: Ash Princess By: Laura Sebastian

Quick ARC Review: Ash Princess By: Laura Sebastian

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Title: Ash Princess
Author: Laura Sebastian
Series: Ash Princess Trilogy #1
Release Date: April 24th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Indie Bookstore
Add to Goodreads

**Disclaimer – I received this via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever.**

Synopsis

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess–a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

 

My Review

It has taken me too long to review this release and there is a reason for it. I kept having a hard time picking it up and reading it. Each time I tried, the material reminded me of other YA Fantasy novels I previously read. YA Fantasies are beginning to become like Dystopian and Vampire mainstream novels before them. What is considered “fresh” and “new” one minute and popular, authors are told to repeat tropes to satisfy readers. This novel is heavily influenced by this.

Theodosia had promise, had. She could have used her bitterness and rage to her advantage, but sold out and “fell” for the Prinz. Her personality wavered greatly. It was almost like the fire within her was sucked out almost halfway through the novel.

I have read fantasy that are cookie cutters while others were genuinely unique to itself and stood out amongst the masses. This one, sadly, is not one of them to me.

Rating 3

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

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C.H.B. Reviews: The Night Huntress Series By Jeanine Frost

C.H.B. Reviews: The Night Huntress Series By Jeanine Frost

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As far as favorite series goes, The Night Huntress Series by Jeanine Frost is pretty high on my list. It hits all of the Charms my blog stands for. It has memorable characters some of which will make you fall in love with them the moment they speak; durability which has expand into a spin-off series, a few short stories, and two side books in between this series ; true #relationshipgoals any woman could want; and much more.

The series’s main character is a half-vampire, half-human hybrid named Catherine Crawfield. Raised on the notion that all vampires are evil due to her mother being impregnated by one fresh out of the grave, twenty-two year old Catherine puts her life on the line by going to bars in order to lure vampires to their impending second death aka dust. One night, while on her usual “hunting” route, she is cornered by a master vampire named Bones. He begins to teach her how to truly understand the monster’s she’s facing, including her own. This picture is my favorite quote from the first book and I have to share. This is how a half-vampire, half-fuman hybrid first learned how to kill vampires.

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Ah, the power of books. I first read these when I was eighteen and they immediately hooked me to the point where I’ve read these four times and now listening to the audiobook adaptions. No matter how many times I’ve gone through these books, they never get old.

The first book Halfway to the Grave is off the charts, it kidnaps you, drags you all the way to Cat’s family cherry farm, whisks you away on vampire killing missions, then in the best way possible-leaves you wondering what happened and endlessly searching for the next book in line.

 

The second book, One Foot In the Grave, I have repeatedly clutched the book, thinking “Be still my heart.” You’ll tear up in happiness following the events of the first book. You’ll laugh your head off from the quips thrown between Bones and Cat along with old characters from the previous novel. The sequel opens more doors leading to the spin-offs and future sequels. But I will say that you’ll need to read the spin-offs at the same time in order to keep track of what is going on in the whole universe and timeline.

Night Huntress Reading Order

HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE

ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE

AT GRAVE’S END

DESTINED FOR AN EARLY GRAVE

FIRST DROP OF CRIMSON

ETERNAL KISS OF DARKNESS

THIS SIDE OF THE GRAVE

ONE GRAVE AT A TIME

ONCE BURNED

TWICE TEMPTED

UP FROM THE GRAVE

BOUND BY FLAMES

 

I will always recommend this series to anyone who is looking for a new paranormal romance series. It’ll give you everything you ever wanted and more!

 

My Rating: 9 out of 10 Book Charms

Happy Reading!

~C.C.