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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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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ARC Review: Guarded Desire By Christi Snow

ARC Review: Guarded Desire By Christi Snow

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Title: Guarded Desire
Author: Christi Snow
Series: NM Protectors #1
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Release Date: June 21, 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

Kidnapped and terrorized, I refuse to let anyone break me. I can stand on my own, no matter what it costs…even if that cost is my life.

Elle…
I was living the life of an ordinary college coed, but that existence was blown wide open when I was kidnapped while visiting my very famous mother, rock-star, ViviAnna.

Now I’m back at college, pretending life is normal while dodging paparazzi and dealing with my face showing up regularly on the nightly news. Trying to find a new balance isn’t happening and the effort to not jump at every shadow or bump in the night is messing with my head more than I ever expected.

Jonah…
I’m a highly trained bodyguard, but that doesn’t mean I want to deal with some spoiled pop princess’s daughter, especially if she’s anything like her handsy mother.

But when I met Elle, she shocked the hell out of me. She’s nice and thoughtful with an incredible inner strength. Even more surprising…she doesn’t want me anywhere near her. But every once in a while I see a flash of fear and vulnerability that make all my protective instincts flare.

I have to protect her.

Because they never caught her kidnapper…

About the Author

Christi Snow

As an avid reader her entire life, Christi Snow always dreamed of writing books that brought to others the kind of joy she felt when she read. But…she never did anything about it besides jot down a few ideas and sparse scenes.

When her husband retired from the Air Force, Christi decided it was time to chase her dream and she started writing. She hasn’t stopped since. With twenty-two published books in various romance genres, she’s found her passion. Now she spends her days with her laptop writing about sexy, alpha heroes and the loves of their lives.

Writing both as Christi Snow and one-half of the writing duo, KB Jacobs, Christi has fulfilled her dream… filling the world with more romance and suspense.

Her tagline is… Passion and adventure on the road to Happily Ever After. She loves this adventure and has truly found her tribe!

Contact

Blog/Goodreads/Twitter/Website

 

My Review

Want to talk about the perfect model for a book cover? All I’m saying is if I needed a guard, I’d definitely pick him. Since he’s supposed to be the character Jonah in this book and after reading it, I can absolutely see him in that role.

The great thing about this series, I must say, is that each is a standalone despite it being a series. You can read any of them out of order, but you do not need the rest. Even though this is the first one in the series, it’s a pretty good start.

Jonah, a former soldier, is placed in charge of guarding a well-known artist’s daughter after being she is rescued from a hostage situation. Elle is still recovering after being held captive. Her nightmares frighten her while her captor’s voice haunts her throughout the day. He was never caught by the police, bringing her to constantly look over her shoulder.

Her mother, ViviAnna, hires Jonah despite Elle’s protests. As a result, Jonah takes the guise of Elle’s “boyfriend” in order to protect her as she tries to complete her college degree. However, what begins as a mere act slowly transforms into attraction between the bodyguard and his ward.

The story is short, sweet, and keeps your attention due to the mystery aspect of where the captor is. I enjoyed the budding romance between Elle and Jonah. I had a little trouble with the ending. It felt rushed and needed to be drawn out a little longer. Other than that, its was a delightful read.

Rating 8

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Xpresso Blog Tour & ARC Review: Evading the Dark By E.M. Rinaldi

Xpresso Blog Tour & ARC Review: Evading the Dark By E.M. Rinaldi

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Title: Evading the Dark
Author: E.M. Rinaldi
Series: The Cross Chronicles #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: April 24th, 2018
Available: Amazon/Goodreads

 

Synopsis

High school sucks. It doesn’t matter who you ask; jock, cheerleader, computer nerd, or band geek, they will all say the same thing: It’s a nightmare. But Casey is still wondering how she got the short end of the stick. Just a Sophomore at the prestigious Luthos Academy for Magical Beings, Casey already knows more about heartache and fear than any almost-sixteen-year-old should.

Orphaned and left to be raised by the Academy, she spends her days training to become a Guardian, but that dream is looking dimmer with every day that passes.Unlike the wand-waving heroines in all her favorite books, Witches in her world don’t cast spells, they are born wielding the power of nature: water, fire, earth, or air; powers Casey never developed. She’ll be lucky if they even allow her to take her final exams.

She is top of her training class, but that doesn’t keep her from being looked down upon by every other being at her school. All Casey wants is to be given a chance, instead she finds the only life she’s ever known targeted by an unfathomable evil. Thrust into the center of an age-old prophecy, a war is coming with Casey at the reins.

Will relying on her hard earned training be enough for her to make it out alive?

My Review

Evading the Dark takes us to a world where witches, vampires, fae, and shifters remain in secret. Their progeny are sent to hidden schools for the talented beings throughout the world. Casey, an orphaned child of notorious witch Carina, is taken into the Luthos Academy under the guise of her Guardian Eli in order to grow in her powers. The downside – Casey does not have any powers.

The witches at Luthos are held at an extremely high standard. Each one is drawn to one of the four elements (fire, water, air, & earth). Since Casey does not wield any of these powers, her fellow students (except her friends Cedric and Falon) go out of their way to torment her day after day for something she cannot control. I spent a good part of the book angry at her horrible treatment and the instructors turning a blind eye to it. How can you allow students harm an innocent one who cannot even fully defend herself? But, I digress. The turning point of the novel could not come at a better time when it did.

There are not many characters like Casey, period. Despite the torment, she still fights for herself even when others turn a blind eye and carries her addicting personality in tow. Even with a prophecy over her head, she doesn’t give up trying to discover her place and how she may succeed.

Wonderful story, well-thought out characters and enticing plot – one to keep an eye for sure!

Rating 8

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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3 Year Blog Anniversary – Hiatus is Over!

3 Year Blog Anniversary – Hiatus is Over!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY CHARMED BOOK HAVEN REVIEWS!

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Wow, three years ago I never thought I’d be here, sitting at my desk writing this post. It’s been a wild ride for sure. I’ve met many bloggers, writers, readers, etc., since starting this journey in the beginning of the summer of 2015. Whether it’s bonding over our mutual love for Harry Potter or discussing the latest new releases – this community never ceases to make me feel at home both online or even in the outside world with the connections built.

I took a month and a half break from here to focus on reading. Well, that was the original plan until adulting officially took the wheel and my reading slump officially took hold. The month and a half passed rather quickly, but at the same time it felt like it dragged at an endless pace. The struggle to get back into reading after all that time was painfully real.

We all seem to go through reading slumps we can’t seem to break and when it comes to something you love the most – it’s even worse. I tried diving into genres out of my comfort zone (i.e. dystopian classics, contemporary lit), but nothing seemed to ignite my passion for it. It wasn’t until the last two weeks, though, when I picked up Three Dark Crowns By Kendare Blake from my local library that for the first time in quite awhile, I devoured a book in a mere couple of days. I recently downloaded the second book on my kindle and plan on begin reading it later this week.

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Since then, I haven’t been able to stop reading. At work, I’m currently drowning in these audiobooks:

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For those who have kept up since the beginning, from the bottom of my heart, thank you! I wouldn’t still be running my blog without your support. And also, shout out to all you writers out there. Keep writing! Never give up on your passion or your dreams. It’s your imaginations and your characters who bring us all together. Without you, there would be no joy in this world. No inspiration for future writers to pick up the torch and create new worlds. Thank you for your hard work and love you put into your stories!

What do you do to get over your reading slumps?

What are you currently reading?

Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Blog Tour & ARC Review: Suitors and Sabotage

Blog Tour & ARC Review: Suitors and Sabotage

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Title: Suitors and Sabotage
Author: Cindy Anstey
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: April 17th, 2018
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult
Available: Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

**Disclaimer – I received an ARC via NetGalley, Xpresso Tours, and Swoon Reads in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever.**

dd- about the book

Two young people must hide their true feelings for each other while figuring out who means them harm in this cheeky Regency romance from the author of Love, Lies and Spies and Duels & Deception.

Shy aspiring artist Imogene Chively has just had a successful Season in London, complete with a suitor of her father’s approval. Imogene is ambivalent about the young gentleman until he comes to visit her at the Chively estate with his younger brother in tow. When her interest is piqued, however, it is for the wrong brother.

Charming Ben Steeple has a secret: despite being an architectural apprentice, he has no drawing aptitude. When Imogene offers to teach him, Ben is soon smitten by the young lady he considers his brother’s intended.

But hiding their true feelings becomes the least of their problems when, after a series of “accidents,” it becomes apparent that someone means Ben harm. And as their affection for each other grows—despite their efforts to remain just friends—so does the danger. . .

In Suitors and Sabotage, author Cindy Anstey delivers another witty young adult historical fiction novel that is the perfect mix of sweetly romantic and action-packed.

dd- about the author

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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. Love, Lies and Spies is her debut novel.

Contact

Website/Goodreads/Facebook/Twitter

dd- my review

Back during the regency period, comes a novel where love and mystery entangle to prepare you for Suitors and Sabotage. The love triangle aspect is turned up to a level 11 and you know how I feel about those. However, this one isn’t a true love triangle since two of the characters are obviously falling for one another and not their “suited” counterparts.
We open to the year of 1817 where Imogene Chivey’s family estate is being visited by her match, Ernest Steeple and his brother Benjamin. Her father immediately is taken with Ernest and believes the match will be prosperous while looking down upon Ernest’s brother Benjamin. Benjamin has a high interest in architecture, though, and is hired by Imogene’s father in order to restore a castle on the estate property. Benjamin has a secret, though, he lacks the ability to draw. Imogene jumps in and offers her help to teach him and their relationship takes flight from there.
Despite Ernest’s efforts, Imogene slowly begins to turn her attention to his brother Benjamin. The chemistry between these two are subtle and not overpowering like many “insta-love” literary couples. The development in their relationship takes time and it’s the PERFECT time. On the other hand, Imogene’s best friend, Emily, is falling for Benjamin as well and Ernest with Imogene, respectively. It feels a bit complicated at times and I found myself having to pause for a few minutes in order to let the idea of it all sink in.
The mystery component of this novel is gradually added into the novel. Several incidents take place, causing problems to arise for Benjamin and capture Emily and Imogene’s attention. The incidents are small and inconsequential but then they begin to escalate to where they could possibly kill someone. The reveal of the culprit needed a bit of work. I was surprised at the identity, but how they were caught is a whole other ballgame completely. It needed to be revealed in a different way, in my opinion.
I enjoyed this book. I positively enjoyed the awkward conversations and the dynamics the characters brought to the table. If you are looking for your next Regency-era YA read, I highly recommend you pick this one up!
Rating 8

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.B.H. Reviews: Hunting Prince Dracula By: Kerri Maniscalo

C.B.H. Reviews: Hunting Prince Dracula By: Kerri Maniscalo

Hello Charmers,

I’ve been meaning to post this review for awhile. With Book Tours and Blitzes coming up more and more frequently, it’s time to take a breather to review a book from my TBR 2018 Challenge. I reviewed the first book, Stalking Jack the Ripper, not too long ago and you can check out my review here.

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We pick up where Audrey Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell left off from the previous book. For the sake of the dreaded SPOILERS, we will not discuss the identity of Jack the Ripper from the first book. Because, come on, why spoil the surprise?

Audrey is suffering from symptoms of PTSD in the form of flashbacks of facing Jack the Ripper along with their shocking demise. Regardless, she is still taking on the task of heading off to Romania with Thomas to attend one of the best forensic schools in the world. They are met with a new challenge, however, in the form of a possible vampire slaying attack aboard their train, it seems Audrey and Thomas may be taking on a new case under possible vampiric circumstances.

Obviously, this is a historical fiction novel with no ties to the paranormal world, but it was nice left wondering, “What if?” throughout the novel. The inclusion of the lore behind Vlad the Impaler through adding historical facts and tales passed down from the locals enhances the storytelling greatly in this sequel verses the first book. It was harder to put this book down. Each chapter added more historical elements that made you want to learn more. History has always fascinated me and this novel made my love grow all the more.

I have to say thank you to the author for including the circumstances surround the LBGQ community around that time and including characters so understanding. We, as a society, have come a long way and still have a ways to go. But in the fictional world, you sometimes need to be reminded how history used to be in order to grow in the future.

If you haven’t read this book nor it’s first installment, it’s a must! If you are a fan of the lore of Dracula and other tales linked to the vampire lore, this is a mystery that’ll get your mind racing.

Rating 9

Have you read this series?

Which book was your favorite?

Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.