C.B.H. ARC Review & Blog Tour: Wicked Soul By Nora Ash

C.B.H. ARC Review & Blog Tour: Wicked Soul By Nora Ash

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Title: Wicked Soul
Series: Ancient Blood, Book 1
Author: Nora Ash
Release Date: February 10th, 2017
Available: Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

About the Book

He saved me… And then he blood-bonded me. Now I’m his.

My first meeting with a Chicago vampire went better than expected.

Up until that night, all I knew about vampires was limited to a few common facts: they drink blood, they get a mean sunburn and if you find yourself alone with one, you’re dead.

Except he didn’t kill me.

Sexy, broody Warin clearly had his own reasons for sparing my life and tying me with his blood, but if he’d known how much trouble I’d attract, I bet he wouldn’t have bothered. When he blood-bonded me, secrets even I didn’t know about myself came to light.

Secrets that will pull us both deep into the eternal war between vampires and the witches determined to rid the world of their evil.

We have only one choice now: fight the forces hell-bent on breaking our bond…

My Review

Soulmates, powerful couples whose souls were pre-destined to combine to create a strong bond no mere mortal (or vampire) can keep apart. Olivia and Warin are this kind of couple.

Not many paranormal romance books discuss soulmates in a way when Warin “discovers” his soulmate his vampire family feel the bond down the line. It’s always funny when people close to you realize you are completely whipped. But Warin is not any weaker, but stronger and this is only a sliver of what this book is about.

Vampires are known in this book’s world; however, they are still misunderstood to the masses. In addition, they are in a war against shapeshifters and werewolves. This puts a damper on Olivia and Warin’s story.

We first meet Olivia in the middle of her kidnapping. She is mistakened for being a vampire just for the fact she is reading a vampire paranormal romance. No, not joking. She is thrown in a cell alongside Warin and then their journey begins.

A fun twist on the vampire world and I can’t wait to tap into the sequel! Vampire romance lovers, need apply!

Rating 8

About the Author

Nora Ash writes the sort of books that have your toes curling and your blood pulsing. Her stories are often dark and always thrilling, with lots of sexy bad boys and the women who spur their desires. When not typing away at a story, Nora paints, eats chocolate or go for hikes around the English countryside with her very own bad boy.

Contact

Website/Goodreads/Facebook/Twitter

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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C.B.H. ARC Review: Banished (The Storymakers #3) By Betsy Schow

C.B.H. ARC Review: Banished (The Storymakers #3) By Betsy Schow

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Title: Banished
Series: The Storymakers
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Available: Amazon/Goodreads/B&N

 

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy via NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for a review. This does not effect my review.

 

About the Book

 My Review

All the best people have a bit of madness. It’s a sign of brilliance. You just have to learn how to take control of it.

This is the third installment in The Storymakers series that follows Princess Dorthea of Emerald on her continuing quest to get back home and right the wrongs she did in the first book, Spelled. Now, she’s locked up in the psyche ward, slowly beginning to lose her memories of her home. She discovered her parents in the previous book to find they forgot their home and want Dorthea to “get better”.

On the other side of the fairy tale coin, Dorthea’s mind is linked to Rexi – making the story flip back and forth between the fictional and the reality. The moment Dorthea goes to sleep, she see’s Rexi, taking on the guise of King Arthur, wielding Excalibur while battling the villains of Camelot. With Rexi, she sees the devastation of Dorthea’s treatments in the hospital involving green sludge and constant lies of being incurable. Dorthea later escapes the hospital and goes on a mission, searching for a pair of magic shoes to get her to another realm. Rexi, on the other hand, seeks out to destroy the Wicked Witch.

The quirkiness from the previous novels shows up in droves in this book and the mashup of our favorite fairytale characters makes keeps the fun coming. The single downside I can only come up with is that this wouldn’t be for older YA readers. The characters dialogue and actions fall more along the younger YA reader group. But if you are looking for a new fairytale mashup series that’ll make you laugh – this could be the next one on your list!

 

Rating 7

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.B.H. ARC Reviews: Wicked Charm By Amber Hart

C.B.H. ARC Reviews: Wicked Charm By Amber Hart

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Title: Wicked Charm
Author: Amber Hart
Release Date: January 30th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads

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

Synopsis

Nothing good comes from living in the Devil’s swamp.

Willow Bell thinks moving to the Okefenokee area isn’t half bad, but nothing prepares her for what awaits in the shadows of the bog.

Girls are showing up dead in the swamp. And she could be next.

Everyone warns Willow to stay away from Beau Cadwell—the bad boy at the top of their suspect list as the serial killer tormenting the small town.

But beneath his wicked, depthless eyes, there’s something else that draws Willow to him.

When yet another girl he knew dies, though, Willow questions whether she can trust her instincts…or if they’re leading to her own death.

My Review

I’m not going to lie, I had a rough time reading this book. Willow could not stop thinking about Beau. Not even when people were dying around her did she even stop to think, “Hm, all of these girls were involved with this guy. This is clearly not a good idea to be around him.” But obviously romance was more on her mind than intellectual thinking.

This was pitched to be a contemporary suspenseful romance novel….was. Willow is warned by her grandmother in the beginning of the book to steer clear of Beau and his family, that they are of the devil. Kids at school warn her to stay away from him since he is a notorious player who goes through girls like water. Instead, she heads straight toward the snake and believes she will not get bitten.

The trope of the player falling for the new girl because she is “not like other girls” runs rampant through the novel while Beau and Willow grow closer together. I could not get into them. I couldn’t, no matter how hard I tried and believe me, I tried. But when a guy’s ex-girlfriends seem to be popping up dead in the swamp by his home, I’d run to the hills.

The book leans to more on the romance side than the suspense/mystery aspects. The writing style was alright, the descriptions were fantastic, but the execution of the mystery was lacking. If she would have focused more on it, I think it would have been a solid 10/10 for me. Now, however, I’ll be sure to steer clear of the swamps in Georgia. You never know what or whom may be lurking in the shadows.

Rating 5

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

TBR Challenge Review #1 – Cress By Marissa Meyer

TBR Challenge Review #1 – Cress By Marissa Meyer

Hello Everyone!

I reviewed the first two books of the The Lunar ChroniclesCinder and Scarlet,  what seems like forever ago on here. If you are interested in getting a refresher on my reviews, you can check out my review of Cinder HERE. And you can check out my review on Scarlet HERE.

I started Cress after beginning my TBR Challenge of the year. In addition to seeking to complete a higher book count by the end of the year, I also wanted to read as many books in my TBR as possible. One of the first books on me list I thought was long over due to be read was Cress. I’m part of the unpopular opinion when it comes to Scarlet. I was not impressed at all. It annoyed me more than anything to be completely obvious so it made me put the third book off for the longest time.

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Cress is on a different level than Scarlet was. There were a few less face palm moments than it’s predecessor, but there were still some nonetheless. This one mainly focused around the retelling of Rapunzel but gave the other perspective characters their personal “screen time” so to speak.

We learn more about the hacker in the Lunar space shuttle, floating above the Earth. Cress had been placed there under General Sibil in order to keep surveillance over Earth and report to Lunar anything suspicious or worthy of being used against them. Despite being a hacker and aware of Earth’s practices, Cress acted exactly like a sheltered child.

Yeah, I get it, she basically was but some of her actions throughout the novel were downright annoying. Her constantly fantasizing about Thorne kissing her grated on my nerves because there were more important things to worry about at the time than her receiving her first kiss from a Grade A player she just met.

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Cinder’s arc could not have come at a better time! We see her grow into her powers and finally use them in order to help her team gain the advantage. Watching her confidence grow made me enjoy reading about her more so than the Cress and Scarlet’s progression. This felt more like the part two from Cinder I expected when I read Scarlet. 

There was plenty in this novel that could have been trimmed from the length. Pointless dialogue and….Kai thinking Scarlet was the missing Lunar Princess….Could have done without. Cress’s parts could have been trimmed down as well. I get that this was supposed to be part of her story, but in the end quite a bit wasn’t needed. Aside from that, better than Scarlet.

Rating 6

What did you think of this novel?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.B.H. Reviews: Memories of Chronosalis By Ceara Comeau

C.B.H. Reviews: Memories of Chronosalis By Ceara Comeau

Title: Memories of Chronosalis
Author: Ceara Comeau

Release Date: November 17th, 2017
Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads

About the Book

It’s one thing to read about heroes saving worlds in far off galaxies, but to become one is an entirely different story. Sixteen-year-old Amber Oak wanted nothing more than to stay in her own world of music and solitude. But the inhabitants of Galaseya, a Utopian planet rooted in the past, had other ideas in mind.

According to them, only she wielded the power to stop the dark forces threatening their home. At first, Amber sympathized with the planet, but saw no reason to involve herself in the affairs of something outside her world. But the stakes have risen when she discovers that Galaseya is not only the world that has been invading her dreams, but also the place her estranged family originated from.

With this new knowledge, questions began to surface and secrets of Amber’s life come to light causing her to second guess everything she knows…

About the Author

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Contact

Blog/Facebook/Goodreads/Twitter

Ceara Comeau began writing stories when she was twelve years old. Her writing career began with Amber Oak, Volume 1 and Adventures of the Young and Curious. Both books were a compilation of short stories that were self-published when she was only fifteen years old.

Over the next few years, Amber Oak, Volume 2 was written and she became self-published by seventeen. During her college years, Amber Oak and the Missing Links and Amber Oak and the Master of Illusions were born. After they were self-published, Ceara wrote another story separate from her Amber Oak World entitled, The Lost Journal of Erika Traynor.

Later, she returned to the beginning and looked at her Amber Oak series and decided to go back to the beginning and rewrite her first series. What first started out as an eight book novella series transformed into a trilogy and finally into one book, Memories of Chronosalis.

My Review

Strange dreams haunted sixteen year old Amber’s life for months. Visions of dark creatures with sharp teeth and haunting imagery causes her to question her own reality the moment she awakes. Soon she discovers these dreams are not merely dreams at all but the key to her existence and purpose.

This is not your average female led YA Sci-fi/Fantasy. She is a “Chosen One”, but is not the common ones you see in YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels of today. Through her struggle to accept her purpose to save her families’ home planet of Galaseya to fight the monsters in the dark, Amber must learn to push her introverted ways aside to take on the armor of a warrior. Her growth from the beginning of the novel to the end is immense and a fantastic journey that you rarely see in books today.

Ceara does not skim on details in this novel. She brings her visions to life through colorful, in-depth depictions of the planet of Galaseya and the galaxies beyond our own comprehension. She deserves a spot amongst other writers of today and her characters will stay with you after the final page. If you are looking for your next YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy read, I highly suggest you pick this one up! You won’t regret it!

 

Rating 10

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.B.H. Reviews: Let Astray By Kelley Armstrong

C.B.H. Reviews: Let Astray By Kelley Armstrong

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If you’re new to my blog, welcome to the Charmed Book Haven! I remember when I started this blog almost three years ago, I embarked on a journey with one of my first reviews of Kelly Armstrong’s Bitten (Women of the Otherworld Book 1). The same year, I joined Net Galley and received the opportunity to read and review Kelly’s compilation of her best short stories in Let Astray. 

Each one of these short stories are from her hit OtherworldCainsville, Age of Legends, and Darkest Powers/Darkness Rising series or original short stories. Here are my ratings the short stories:

Original Short Stories

Rakhashi: I needed more information on the Rakhashi! I wish Kelley would write more on them.

6 out of 10 Book Charms 

A Haunted House of Her Own: 

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We meet married couple Tanya and Nathan, who are seeking out a haunted house in order to transform into a B&B. The more the story unfolds, we find that the story nor the actions of the house are what they seem. Is it truly haunted or a matter of madness?

8 out of 10 Book Charms

Last Stand: Different twist on a zombie story. What happens when the monsters become aware and go after the humans that attacked them?

6 out of 10 Book Charms

The Door: This story made my cry! A father and mother will do anything to protect their family – even if it means risking their own lives.

8 out of 10 Book Charms

Dead Flowers By a Roadside: I could not stop crying with this one. No matter how short it is, you can feel the father’s grief over losing his daughter and wife. My only question is did he turn into a ghost in the end?

7 out of 10 Book Charms

Suffer the Children: The idea was there, but the resolution fell flat.

6.5 out of 10 Book Charms

The Collector: Now I want to track down the Hellraiser short story collection! Great adaption of the Hellraiser lore.

10 out of 10 Book Charms

Harbinger: If dead people are trying to give you a warning, listen and don’t yell at them.

8.5 out of 10 Book Charms

Plan B: Hell Hath no fury than the “Other Woman’s” scorn.

7.5 out of 10 Book Charms

Dead to Me: Was not expecting how this story went.

7 out of 10 Book Charms

Age of Legends

The Kitsune’s Nine Tales: The Katsune’s Nine Tales: 9 Tales = 9 Lies. Beware of the Katsune’s tricks. You may end up with a knife in your back.

7 out of 10 Book Charms

Cainsville Series Stories

The Screams of Dragons: Wow, I’m ready to start reading the Cainsville series! A strange town filled with magnificent beings who only want to help the misunderstood and gifted. Unfortunately, they couldn’t help Bobby. Even though someone may come from a dark past, it is up to them to give into the darkness. The ending was completely unexpected!

10 out of 10 Book Charms

Gabriel’s Gargoyles: Wasn’t really needed….

6 out of 10 Book Charms

The Hunt: Sometimes it’s not the animal you’re hunting, but yourself.

6 out of 10 Book Charms

Devil May Care: Prequel to Gabriel’s Gargoyles, Love the fae lore aspect!

Darkest Powers/Darkness Rising

Kat: I haven’t read the Darkness Rising series since I was in high school and it looks like I may need to pick them up and refresh. We’re reminded of the genetic experiments operations of the Edison Group as they are seeking to retrieve the escaped experiment, Kat. Quick, Simple, but good story from that world.

9 out of 10 Book Charms

Branded: It was missing something, I don’t know what, but something…

5 out of 10 Book Charms

Otherworld Universe

Learning Curve: Welcome back to the Otherworld. If you’re going to try to stake a vampire, make sure you don’t run into Zoe and are better prepared, kids.

6 out of 10 Book Charms

Bamboozled: The story as ok. Imagine a heist involving supernaturals that goes wrong.

6 out of 10 Book Charms

The List: More like Learning Curve Prt. 2

6 out of 10 Book Charms

Young Bloods: Wasn’t anything too special.

5 out of 10 Book Charms

V Plates: Play on “V-Card”! I missed Nick from this series!

8 out of 10 Book Charms

Life Sentence: A bit slow, but love the ending!

7 out of 10 Book Charms

 

Rating 8

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.B.H. ARC Review: Pretty Dead Girls By Monica Murphy

C.B.H. ARC Review: Pretty Dead Girls By Monica Murphy

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Title: Pretty Dead Girls
Author: Monica Murphy
Release Date: January 2nd, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads

*Disclaimer – I received an ARC copy courtesy of Entangled Publishing & NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Synopsis

Beautiful. Perfect. Dead.

In the peaceful seaside town of Cape Bonita, wicked secrets and lies are hidden just beneath the surface. But all it takes is one tragedy for them to be exposed.

The most popular girls in school are turning up dead, and Penelope Malone is terrified she’s next. All the victims so far have been linked to Penelope—and to a boy from her physics class. The one she’s never really noticed before, with the rumored dark past and a brooding stare that cuts right through her.

There’s something he isn’t telling her. But there’s something she’s not telling him, either.

Everyone has secrets, and theirs might get them killed.

My Review

We are told throughout the novel that nothing happens in the small Northern Californian town of Cape Bonita. MURDER doesn’t happen in Cape Bonita. For a society of popular high school girls called “The Larks”, their world is about to be rocked by the senior Larks being killed off one by one. By who, you may ask? Penelope, President of the Larks, is searching for answers.

This story is told from the perspective of Penelope and the killer. The gender reveal of the killer happened quite early in the novel to my dismay. I wished this detail remained anonymous due to it narrowing down my personal list of suspects.

These group of girls, specifically the seniors, are not what you would call role models….oh what am I even doing, these girls are savage. Well, except for Dani and Penelope. Gretchen, Courtney, and Lexi are another incarnation of the original Mean Girls themselves minus being-

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I flew through the book rather quickly. My main problems with this book was the dialogue, the extremely strange information dumping sessions, and, I hate to say it, but underwhelming reveal at the end. The motivations behind the killer’s actions reminded me of the classic horror movie Prom Night.

Penelope’s dialogue is strange and I had a hard time staying connected with her. I don’t know if it’s because I’m an adult or what, but there were times where I rolled my eyes and longed to tell her to get over herself. The information dumping sessions she would throw at you made no sense. It’s like “ok, what is the point of you talking about this? It has nothing to do with this current situation.” This didn’t happen on one occasion either, this was a continuous loop.

Mind you, this was the unreleased draft. These problems are probably fixed, but they constantly bothered me. Other than these issues, it’s worth the read.

 

Rating 6

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.