Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney Review and Giveaway!

Black Dawn
Mallory McCartney
Published by: Clean Reads Publishing
Publication date: February 14th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Young Adult

The end of an Empire. The rise of a Queen.”

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life that is until two mysterious, and dare I say handsome soldiers show up at her apartment doorstep and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Coming from the magical and ravaged world of Kiero, Emory is brought back not realizing that both men are darkly woven in her past. Discovering she is the long lost heir to the Royal Line Emory is thrown into Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne. With both lives clashing Emory uncovers hidden secrets from her past, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble


Review: 

I really enjoyed reading this book. It’s pretty short at less than 200 pages so with the length and quick pace it was a pretty fast read for me. The premise really intrigued me because it’s basically every young girl’s fantasy, lol. A young woman in her 20’s is swept away with two hulking handsome strangers to a world where she is supposedly the princess and needs to help save the entire world? Uh-yes please! 

Emory was a very likable protagonist to me. She wasn’t some dim witted girl who trusted a guy just because he was smoking hot. She also wasn’t a bitter spinster who was jaded to the world and refused to believe what was right before her. I also really liked Memphis and Brokk, with each posessing a hint of vulnerability and loads of charm to make loving each one easy.

I would say the only thing that I didn’t love in this book was how often the POVs changed and that sometimes I forgot who I was reading about. Other than that I really enjoyed this book and would read more from this author based on my experience with Black Dawn. 

Rating:


Author Bio:

Mallory McCartney currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and their two dachshunds Link and Lola. Black Dawn is her debut novel, the first in a series. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found dog grooming, book shopping and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

Scythe of Darkness by Dawn Husted

Title: Scythe of Darkness
Author: Dawn Husted
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook, ARC provided by author
Description
(Source: Amazon):

 

For Mia Hieskety, surviving high school meant focusing on exams and avoiding stupid parties. After breaking up with the only boyfriend she ever had, dating was off the agenda. That is, until Thanatos came along. Inexplicably drawn to Thanatos, she’s determined to find out who he is and why he insists on wearing gloves to school. Something is off about him. And it’s as if she can feel him when he’s near. Without warning, she’s thrust into a sinister world and discovers a truth that she never expected. When a supernatural connection puts Mia’s life at risk, she doesn’t know who to trust—especially Thanatos. But what if she’s in love with him?”


Okay, so first I need to apologize to the Author. The author so generously provided me with this book as an ARC, but with my recent health problems I have gotten so far behind all my posts and reviews. I’ve actually read about 12 books and haven’t written a single review in the last month about them because I’ve been feeling so sick. I do not see this changing for at least another month, so please bear with me if you follow my blog. I may have a little announcement in the next few weeks 😉 . 

Review:

Alright, onto the book. Scythe of Darkness is about Mia, a teenage girl who was abducted (and escaped) when she was a little girl. Mia is a relatively normal girl, despite her traumatic past. Mia runs into (literally) a boy named Thanatos with whom she shares an immediate and intense connection with. As you can probably tell from that last sentence, this is an insta-love story. It’s well done, but if you’re not into that you should know now. 🙂 Shortly after meeting Thanatos Mia’s world is turned upside down. Thanatos and his family are not what they seem and Mia discovers that she has been the center of a sinister play for power for years. 

The book itself was well written and kept a pace that moved quickly, but not rushed. I really enjoyed the writing style and the development of Mia and Thanatos. I’m hoping for even more character development from Mia’s character in the next book, because that ending left room for a lot of growth from Mia!

Rating:

    

Final Thoughts:

That. Ending. 😱😱😱😱😱


Book Blitz – Amnesia by Cambria Hebert

I don’t normally do Book Blitz posts, but I knew I had to read this book as soon as I read the synopsis. I already picked up my copy, get yours here today!



Amnesia
Cambria Hebert
Publication date: June 12th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

I washed ashore in a little lake town.
A place where everyone knows everyone, yet…
No one knows me.
I don’t know me.
If a woman doesn’t know her own name, does she really exist?
I don’t know my natural hair color, my birthdate, or where I live.
I am invisible.
To everyone, to everything, even to myself.
Except to him.
I see the recognition deep in his stare, the way it lingers on my face as if I’m a puzzle he’s desperate to put together.
I just want answers, the truth… knowledge.
His lips are sealed. Still, his eyes beguile me.
I can’t trust anyone, not even myself. Someone wants me dead, the same someone who tried to bury me in a watery grave.
They’ll come for me again… I won’t know their face.
I don’t even know mine.
I am amnesia.

Goodreads / Amazon


EXCERPT:

Slivers of light pricked my eyelids, which up until this moment seemed far too heavy to lift. As I lay against something soft at my back, thought and awareness barely registered.

The gritty feeling as I struggled to raise my eyelids scraped and burned over my eyeballs as if warning me it wasn’t a good idea. Swallowing past the sandpaper in my throat, I stopped working and lay still. Cognizance slowly came forward in the form of something weighing me down and the echo of footsteps nearby.

Adrenaline jackknifed through me, and my body arched upward with the force of my gasp. The weight of whatever held me caused severe panic to fill me, and I began to fight against it.

“No!” I screamed, flailing about, trying to escape the binds. “Let me go!”

High-pitched beeping filled my ears, and the footsteps I’d heard grew more insistent and much closer.

He was coming!

“No!” I screamed.

Strong hands grabbed my arms and pinned me down. I tried to fight back, but they were much stronger than me. Kicking my legs, I tried to free them, but even more weight came down, holding them still until I was gasping for breath and ready to beg.

“Please!” I pleaded as wetness coated my cheeks. It made me realize the grittiness under my lids was rinsed away, and my eyes sprang open.

A man was leaning over me. He had graying hair and wore some kind of white shirt. The scream that ripped right out of me scared us both.

More hands and voices came out of nowhere, and I thrashed around again.

“Miss!” the man yelled. “Miss, calm down.”

“Get away from me!” I screamed again.

“Miss!” another voice yelled, a woman this time. Turning in her direction, I saw a pair of kind brown eyes staring at me. “We aren’t trying to hurt you.”

I calmed some, but the thundering of my heart made me feel as if I might spiral out of control. “You aren’t?”

“No.” The woman, who was also dressed in white, spoke. “You’re at a hospital. You were in an accident.”

“W-what?” I stammered, collapsing back against the bed, no longer straining against the binds.

“You’re at a hospital.”

“You’re trying to hold me down!” I accused.

“We don’t want you to hurt yourself.” the woman explained. The hands, even the man’s, remained.

“I don’t like it,” I admitted, recoiling.

The man straightened, stepping back. The nurse was slower to withdraw, but she did so after a few seconds.

“My legs,” I rasped. Suddenly, my throat hurt.

“It’s just the blankets.”

A quick glance down proved I was covered with blankets. Between suspicious glances at the people crowding my room (there were four), I gazed around, concluding I was in fact in a hospital.

“I don’t understand,” I admitted, all my weight pressing into the bed.

“It’s okay,” the man replied. He was a doctor, with a name badge and a stethoscope. “It’s completely normal and expected to be confused after the ordeal you’ve been through.”

“What ordeal?” I asked instantly, anxiety pressing in on my ribcage.

“We were hoping you could tell us,” the doctor said.

“What?” My brows furrowed.

The nurse leaned close, over the side of the bed. I noticed the railings were pulled up on each side. It made me feel as if I were in jail. Instantly, I hated it and began shoving at the bars, trying to push them down.

“Okay, hang on,” the nurse said and put the rails down. Once it was done, she pinned me with an insistent stare. “You have to stay still. You can’t thrash around. You’ll rip out your IV and reinjure yourself.”

“What happened to me?” I asked for what felt like the fifteenth time. I looked around at the four people in the room, hoping one of them would just spit it out.

The doctor motioned to two of the nurses and then quietly left the room.

I glanced back at the nurse. “Can you tell us your name?” she asked.

“My name?” I nodded once, then opened my mouth… only nothing came out.

Anxiety spiked in me again; I started to become agitated. “I… don’t know.”

“Calm down.” The nurse reminded me.

How dare she tell me to calm down? I couldn’t even remember my name.

Oh my God, I didn’t know my own name!

“I don’t remember!” I gasped, jerking up into a sitting position. “Why can’t I remember?”

Before I could fling the covers off and jump out of bed, the doctor was there, pinning me back down. “If you don’t calm down, we’ll have to sedate you. I don’t want to do that. You’ve been out long enough.”

I stilled. “How long?”

“A while.” The nurse hedged.

I ignored her. She was terrible with questions. “How long?” I demanded.

“A little over two months,” the doctor replied.

I gasped. “What’s my name?” I yelled.

I’d been here for two months and they were asking for my name? Shouldn’t they know it?

The doctor wasn’t looking at me; he was looking at the nurse, giving her a curt nod. She rushed out of the room.

“No!” I shouted. “No drugs! Please! Tell me my name. I just want to know my name.”

“You need to calm down. You’ve had a great deal of trauma, miss.”

I dropped back against the pillow, boneless. He called me miss. “You don’t know my name, do you?” I asked, meek.

Sensing all my energy was drained away, he moved back. A frown pulled at his lips. “You were brought in with no identification.” He began.

Fear unlike anything I’d ever felt wrapped around my heart and squeezed. I searched every corner of my mind for something. Anything.

There was nothing.

“I don’t remember…” I whispered.

The doctor seemed to soften. “I know this must be very scary, to wake up and be so disoriented.”

I laughed, but it wasn’t a humorous sound. I wished I were disoriented right then.

“You’ve been through a lot. Give it a few days. Now that you’re awake, your mind will catch up and you will remember.”

“I will?” I asked.

“There’s a good chance.”

Disappointment speared me. “If I don’t?”

“Let’s take it one day at a time.” He placated me.

“Easy for you to say. You know your name.”

A ghost of a smile appeared on his face. “Time.” He reminded me.

The nurse came through the door, holding a syringe, and I cringed away.

“I don’t think we’re going to need that,” the doctor told her.

I let out an audible sigh.

He glanced around again. “Now that you’re awake, I’ll get you down for testing.”

“What kind of testing?” I asked.

“Routine stuff for someone who’s been in a coma.”

Nothing about this was routine. I was in coma… for two months. And I didn’t even know my name.

When both the nurse and doctor were gone and I was alone, my eyes overflowed with tears and a formidable feeling of dread crowded inside me. The doctor said there was “a good chance” I would remember my name very soon.

The problem was it wasn’t just my name I needed to remember…

It was everything.

 

Author Bio:

Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.

Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).

Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.

Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

Heartborn by Terry Maggert Book Tour-Review and Giveaway

I’m posting this later than I expected due to some health issues that have come up over the past weeks. I apologize for not being as present as I wish I could be lately. 🙂

 

Title: Heartborn
Author: Terry Maggert
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Format: Audio
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Description
(Source: Amazon):

Heartborn by [Maggert, Terry]

Her guardian angel was pushed.
Keiron was never meant to be anything other than a hero. Born high above in a place of war and deception, he is Heartborn, a being of purity and goodness in a world where violence and deceit are just around every corner.
His disappearance will spark a war he cannot see, for Keiron has pierced the light of days to save a girl he has never met, for reasons he cannot understand. Livvy Foster is seventeen, brave, and broken. With half a heart, she bears the scars of a lifetime of pain and little hope of survival.
Until Keiron arrives.
In the middle of a brewing war and Livvy’s failing heart, Keiron will risk everything for Livvy, because a Heartborn’s life can only end in one way: Sacrifice.
Fall with Livvy and Keiron as they seek the truth about her heart, and his power, and what it means to love someone who will give their very life to save you.”


Review of the story:

Heartborn starts out introducing Keiron and his brother in the sky (or kind of alternate universe) where the angels live. Right away tragedy strikes Kieron when his brother brutally injures him and pushes him toward Earth. I really love when books start off with so much action right out of the gates, it usually sets up an action packed story that I can’t wait to unfold. 

I really liked Kieron’s character, but Livvy fell a little flat for me. I think sometimes her character was a little contradictory and whiny, plus she cries a lot. Because I couldn’t connect with her character I was not particularly won over by the romance in this book. I am not averse to insta-love when done correctly but this felt a little forced at times for me. 

I will say, while Livvy’s story line wasn’t what I had hoped, there is another story line in the clouds that runs parallel to Kieron’s and Livvy’s and it was great. I found myself anticipating those scenes of the impending war and house Windhook more and more as the book progressed. Kieron’s family (House Windhook) was really interesting to read about and Cressa was a really complex and likable character. 

The ending was maybe a little predictable, but satisfying nonetheless. It left the book open for more in the series, but provided enough closure to wrap up major loose ends. 

Review of the audio:

I am convinced that Julia Whelan could narrate a book about harvesting corn and I would still listen with rapt attention. If you haven’t heard any of her work you need to go check her out now! She has narrated over 230 titles on Audible, so if you are new to audio books I would highly suggest starting with a book that she narrates. 

Rating:

    –rounded up from 3.5

Final Thoughts:
– Overall, the book was pretty good, despite some issues I had with the love story. I would probably recommend to younger audiences or people who really love insta-love stories. 
– If you have Kindle Unlimited, It’s included in the program! If not, I highly suggest you get it. I can’t tell you how many great books I have found through Unlimited. Click below to join!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Ramona Finn. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.



Heartborn Giveaway


Jun. 1st: The Book Junkie Reads Indie (Review, Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Top 10 List, Giveaway)

Jun. 2nd: Lilly’s Book World (Review)

Jun. 5th: Dab of Darkness (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Giveaway)
Chanda Reads (Review & Giveaway)

Jun. 6th: CGB Blog Tours (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt)

Jun. 7th: Lomeraniel (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Giveaway)

Jun. 8th: Reading for the Stars and Moon (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Giveaway)
Spunky-n-Sassy (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Jun. 9th: The Bookworm Lodge (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt)

Jun. 12th: Life As Freya (Review)

Jun. 13th: terriluvsbooks (Review)

Jun. 14th: Shh I Am Reading (Giveaway)
The Page Unbound (Review)

Jun. 15th: Haddie’s Haven (Review, Dream Cast & Giveaway)

The Missionary Book (Review, Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Dream Cast, Giveaway)

Jun. 16th: Ronelle Antoinette (Review, Top 10 List & Giveaway)

Jun. 19th: Wicked Readings by Tawania (Review, Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Giveaway)

Jun. 20th: The Book Addict’s Reviews (Review, Spotlight + Audio Excerpt)

ABW Promos3

➜Sign up as a host here

When Planets Fall by Abby J. Reed book tour and Giveaway!

Displaying WhenPlanetsFallTourBanner.png


Title: When Planets Fall
Author: Abby J. Reed
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: eBook
Description (Source: Amazon):

Displaying WPF.jpg

Breaker’s home is cleaved by blood. The three tribes on the planet Scarlatti, whose only difference is their blood color, each want to exploit Breaker’s valley for themselves. The feudal tension has already claimed red-blood Breaker’s leg and his older brother. Now all this 18-year old wants is to maintain the tenuous peace in order to keep his little ‘stroid of a brother alive. Malani, a red-blood raised blue, is a kidnapped POW and only wants to return to her adoptive home with her dangerous blue secrets. Luka, a red-blood stewing for trouble, wants to right wrongs done to his family and bath his home in justice.

All three intersect when Breaker discovers a wrecked starship and is given seven days by the green-bloods to fix and hand it over as a weapon. Breaker must decide if aiding his enemies is worth the home he knows and his family’s life. War is coming. And war respects no boundaries. And war leaves no survivors.”


Review:

When Planets Fall just skyrocketed to the top of my favorite reads of 2017 list. The book follows three different characters, Breaker, Melani, and Luka. As said in the synopsis, the world this is set in is divided by three different species who have either blue (the Eliks), red (humans), or green (the Hurons) blood.  I immediately fell in love with both Breaker and Malani’s characters. Breaker is a superstar mechanic who also happens to be an amputee, due to something that happened to him in his childhood. I think the struggles of Breaker dealing with his disability are really well written, and not very common to read about in this genre. Melani is a complex character. While she shows strengths in some moments, we are also reminded that she is a scared child in others. Melani has PTSD from her kidnapping as a child, which again, is written very well. I didn’t immediately like Luka, but he really grew on me and actually become my favorite character as the story progressed. 

The story line itself was great and had all the markings of a fantastic Sci-Fi : world building, lots of action, and plot twists! The ending was 😱😱😱. I truly did not dislike anything in the book, but I should warn of a couple things:

  1. cliffhanger at the end 
  2. graphic violence, some involving children 

Again, these things did not bother me, but you should be aware. 

Rating:

    

Final Thoughts:
–I loved this book and can’t wait for the next one! 
– If you have Kindle Unlimited, It’s included in the program! If not, I highly suggest you get it. I can’t tell you how many great books I have found through Unlimited. Click below to join!

I received this book as part of my participation in a blog tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The gifting of this ebook did not affect my opinion of it.


Click here to see the rest of the book tour over at Xpresso Blog Tours!


Author Bio:

Displaying Abby.jpg

Abby J. Reed writes young adult science fiction and fantasy novels that ask what if. She has a degree in English Writing and is drawn to characters with physical limitations due to her own neurological disorder called Chronic Migraine. Her debut novel, WHEN PLANETS FALL, was published in April 2017 by Soul Mate Publishing.
Abby lives in Colorado with her husband and two fluffy pups. If her hands aren’t on the keyboard, they are stained purple and blue with paint. Find her online at www.abbyjreed.com.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1


 

Chance at Redemption by Samatha Harris Book Tour and Giveaway


Title: Chance at Redemption
Author: Samatha Harris
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: eBook
Description (Source: Amazon):

Gwen Stevens had a privileged life until her father spoke three little words that turned her world upside down. “You’re cut off.”
Broke and desperate, Gwen is forced to accept a waitressing job, but this glimmer of hope has a price. As if being a cocktail waitress isn’t bad enough, she has to do it in a dive bar called The Den, and her bad luck doesn’t stop there. She also needs to deal with the new owner, a blue-eyed, self-righteous ass determined to make her life miserable.

Liam Sinclair walked away from the entitlement and obligation his family planned for him, vowing to make his own way in the world…

Adjusting to life as a new business owner, Liam has experienced more than his fair share of setbacks. When his only waitress breaks her leg, his sister takes it upon herself to hire a replacement—a spoiled, self-indulgent hothead with too much makeup and more than enough attitude. Gwen represents the world he’s trying to escape, a world of excess and greed that he was never cut out for.

Appearances can be deceiving, and first impressions aren’t always right…

Despite their apparent differences, the tension between them turns to a fiery passion that neither of them can resist. Together they find balance and learn to appreciate the simpler things in life. But Gwen soon discovers that old habits die hard, and one mistake is all it takes to ruin everything.

Forgiveness must be earned, but even a villain deserves a chance at redemption…


Review:

I think I should note that I have not read the first two books in the Madison Square Series, so I think my view on Gwen is different than people who read the first two and saw her as a “villain”. We learn a diluted version about the kinds of things Gwen did to the other people in the series in the past, but since I wasn’t emotionally invested in the first two couples I think I saw Gwen with a less biased eye. I’ve read reviews stating that they would have liked the book if it would have been anyone but Gwen because they didn’t believe that Gwen deserved redemption, so I’m actually glad that I haven’t read the first two now. 🙂

The story starts right away with Gwen getting “cut off” from her rich dad. Gwen’s internal dialogue is pretty nasty–making fun of a “fat lady”, poor people, etc. What you would expect from a spoiled brat of a twenty-something that has never actually done anything for herself.

After Gwen is cut off she makes some terrible choices, which eventually lead to her landing a job working at Liam Sinclair’s bar. Liam is great, and basically a dream guy. Responsible, sweet, funny, and a heart for helping people. 

The first half of the novel takes place over a period of a few months, which really allowed for a strong and steady connection between Liam and Gwen, thus making the romance more of a slow burn. 

This book was a very enjoyable read for me, capturing my attention immediately and keeping me engaged until the end. Both Liam and Gwen were likable (again, probably because I didn’t read the first two) and I genuinely cared about what happened to their characters. I’m not sure if I will go back and read the first two books, not because I didn’t enjoy the book, but because I am scared I will ruin my love for Gwen, lol. I will definitely read future books from this author though. 

Rating:

    

Final Thoughts:
–Overall, I really enjoyed the book and would highly recommend it for anyone who loves a redemption story. 
– If you have Kindle Unlimited, It’s included in the program! If not, I highly suggest you get it. I can’t tell you how many great books I have found through Unlimited. Click below to join!

I received this book as part of my participation in a blog tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The gifting of this ebook did not affect my opinion of it.


Click here to see the rest of the book tour over at Xpresso Blog Tours!


Author Bio:

Samatha “Sam” Harris lives near Baltimore, Maryland with her husband David and daughter Ava. Born in Florida, she migrated north which most people agree was a little backwards. She has been an artist all of her life, a Tattoo Artist for more than ten years, and a storyteller since she was a kid.
Sam has a slightly unhealthy love for Frank Sinatra, classic movies, and Jazz and Blues music, but her first love will always be reading. From Romance, to Thrillers, to Historical Fiction and everything in between, she loves to become a part of the story. As a writer she tells the stories that she would want to read.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1


Ensnared by Rita Stradling

Title: Ensnared
Author: Rita Stradling
Genre: NA, Sci-Fi, Romance
Format: eARC provided by NetGalley
Description (Source: NetGalley):

Ensnared by [Stradling, Rita]

A Near Future Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

Alainn’s father is not a bad man. He’s a genius and an inventor. When he’s hired to create the robot Rose, Alainn knows taking the money is a mistake. Rose acts like a human. She looks exactly like Alainn. But something in her comes out wrong.

To save her father from a five-year prison sentence, Alainn takes Rose’s place. She says goodbye to the sun and goes to live in a tower no human is allowed to enter. She becomes the prisoner of a man no human is allowed to see.

Believing that a life of servitude lies ahead, Alainn finds a very different fate awaits her in the company of the strange, scarred recluse.


Today is Ensnared Release day! It was supposed to be in December, but it was pushed up 🙂
Review:

I did another review on this author back in February of this year (Making Bad Choices) and really enjoy her writing.

Ensnared is a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast set in the future. Robots have become a part of everyday life in this new future, where they work as policeman, nurses, and even companions. It’s pretty creepy.  Alainn is a strong protagonist and I like pretty much everything about her. She is 24, which is nice because I like a little older (LOL “older! I’m 30😂😂) characters. She has had time to experience life and see what else is out there before falling in love with Lor. Alainn had been through a horrifying experience when she was only 17, which only strengthened the depth of her character. Overall, Alainn is caring, adventurous, witty, and fun to read.  The romance between Alainn and Lor was more of a slow burn than an inferno, making it more realistic and believable. The love between Alainn and Lor seemed genuine and lasting. There weren’t a lot of sexy scenes, but the few there were were well done. Somewhat graphic, but not vulgar. I would say appropriate for 16+.

Rating:

    

Final Thoughts:
–  This was a very quick read and captured my interest within the first chapter. Like the last book I read from her, Making Bad Choices, it is a great book to read if you have an open afternoon and need a book to get your mind off things, without having to concentrate too hard on keeping up with the plot or characters.


TLDR; Well-done retelling of Beauty and the Beast packed with romance, courage, and compassion. I’ll be on the lookout for more from this author.


The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Title: The Star-Touched Queen
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Format: eBook
Description
(Source: Amazon):

The Star-Touched Queen by [Chokshi, Roshani]Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…
But Akaran has its own secrets — thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.
A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget.


Review:

First of all, can we just appreciate this cover? 😍😍😍😍😍

The Star-Touched Queen is about a girl who is cursed with a horoscope of death and destruction. This makes her a social outcast and expendable within her kingdom. The story starts out pretty quickly with not an overabundance of world building, which is helpful if you are like me and don’t want to wait 3-5 chapters to get hooked on the book. I think one of the reasons the book begins so well is because of the protagonist Maya. She struck me as immediately likable, as she is strong, independent, an quick-witted. She makes some pretty stupid decisions in the book, but they aren’t out of character and I think readers can empathize with her logic during these decisive moments. 

Although the story starts out interesting, I found most of the first half of the book went pretty slow for me, but the last half definitely made up for it. The last half was more action based and starts to wind in the plot of the next book. The action scenes were well done and the climax didn’t seem rushed, which is a huge pet peeve of mine.  

I find that I’m torn on Chokshi’s descriptive style throughout the book. Some of the metaphors used just didn’t really make a lot of sense, but there were other times that I found myself completely enthralled with the tale Chokshi was spinning. Obviously this is subjective to who is reading, but overall her writing was beautiful. 

There were two reasons this book was only 3/5 stars for me. The first was what I had already mentioned about the book moving slowly in the first half. The second is the connection between Maya and Amar. I didn’t feel the passion or love between them and would have liked to have seen their relationship grow through more interactions in the book, rather than just a few kisses here or there. 

Rating:

    

Final Thoughts:
– I have the next book A Crown of Wishes on NetGalley so I will be moving onto that book next. Although I gave this book 3 stars (which is still NOT a bad review) I am excited to move onto the next because I love the character the story will be surrounding. 


The Glitch by Ramona Finn- Audiobook Tour

 Hey everyone!

I have decided to start participating in book review tours so you will see several of them pop up on my blog this month! There is a giveaway for this tour located at the bottom of the page 😉 I hope you enjoy!

Title: The Glitch
Author: Ramona Finn
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Format: Audio
Narrator: Genevieve Kaplan
Description
(Source: Amazon):

The Glitch (The Glitches, #1)On the brink of extinction, being human means more than just surviving. 

In Lib’s world, it’s dangerous to deviate from the norm. In fact, for someone who doesn’t live up to the Artificial Intelligence’s standards, it’s practically a death sentence. Lib learns this the hard way when she wakes up in a barren wasteland, with her memories erased, and only one thought lodged in her mind:

“It’s all my fault.”

Lib is a Glitch—an imperfect human component of the utopian world called the Norm. Now she’s thrown out, Lib will be forced to team up with another Glitch, Raj, and the mysterious Rogue Wolf and his clan to survive. Wolf only cares about the survival of his group, but Raj thinks they can hack the A.I. and change the Norm for the better.

Now, Lib will have to decide which path to choose—whether to go with striking loner Raj or stay with Wolf and his tight-knit group. Her heart is drawn to both, but she’s carrying a deadly secret that could jeopardize them all. Will she be able to save her newfound family and stop the A.I. before it’s too late? “


Review of the story:

The Glitch starts off by immediately throwing readers into a whirlwind of action. Our female protagonist (Lib) wakes up in a desert and remembers nothing- and I mean, nothing. Not her name, age, what she looks like, or even basic words at first. Over the course of the book Lib starts to have fleeting memories about who she may have been and her “purpose”, but it’s not until the end where we start to get big answers. 

After Lib wakes up she notices another girl in trouble and instinctively saves her life. The girl (Skye)  brings Lib to a group of people surviving outside the “Norm” (where Lib learns she was cast out from). The group of people is called a Clan and is comprised of Glitches like Lib, and Rouges – people born outside the Norm. It take a little bit longer than I would have liked to get an explanation to what a Glitch actually is, and this starts to enter spoiler territory so I won’t go into it too much. I can say however, that Glitches are people who used to live inside the norm but were tossed out due to the AI who runs the norm deeming them as malfunctioned. 

As the story progresses we see Lib struggle to gain the trust of her newfound friends and start to uncover truths about the Norm, the AI, herself, and the world. There is a little romance, but it definitely doesn’t overpower the main story-line.

The Clan reminds me of the Grounders from the show The 100. The harsh language, the lack of technology, and the reliance on folk-like traditions showed similarities to that group. If you like that aspect of the show, I think you will love the world that Finn has built outside of the Norm. 

My only complaint about the book is the lack of character development. I am very much a plot driven type of reader, so the action in this book was appealing to me. I do think however, it could have been slowed down a little for more character development. This would have allowed for more emotional connection not just to the protagonist, but also to the supporting characters that die throughout the book. 

Review of the audio:

Genevieve Kaplan does an okay job at narrating the book. There were times where I felt like she rushed the words and I thought I was listening at 1.25x speed, but she would usually even herself back out within a few minutes.  Her character voices were distinctive and I never had a hard time trying to decipher who was speaking. 

Rating:

    

Final Thoughts:
– Overall, the book was pretty good and I would recommend it to anyone interested in dystopian sci-fi. I will continue the series to see what happens to the group. 
– If you have Kindle Unlimited, It’s included in the program! If not, I highly suggest you get it. I can’t tell you how many great books I have found through Unlimited. Click below to join!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Ramona Finn. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.


 

The Glitch Audio Blog Tour Giveaway


May 7: Dab of Darkness

May 8: Chapter Break

May 9: Chanda Reads

May 10: The Book Addict’s Reviews

May 11: The Page Unbound

May 12: SMADA’s Book Smack

May 13: Haddie’s Haven

May 14: terriluvsbooks

May 15: The Cinnamon Hollow

May 16: Lomeraniel

ABW Promos3

➜Sign up as a host here


The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Format: Audio
Narrators: Will Patton
Description
(Source: Amazon):
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, Book 1) by [Stiefvater, Maggie]

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.”


Review:
There has been a lot of hype about this series, which is why I think I was reluctant to start them, and the synopsis didn’t really appeal to me either so I kept putting it off. I ended up getting the audio from my library because it was available and I’m on the wait list for a few other things.

From the very first chapter something about this book ensnared me.  I absolutely adored this book, but I still don’t even know how to put into into words why. The writing is beautiful, the story is interesting and surprising, and the characters are well developed and complex, but I’ve read plenty of books this year that share those same characteristics. This book had a little something extra that had me feeling addicted – just one more chapter. I’d take the long way home so I can just get a few more minutes. Yesterday while listening I even moved a restoration project up (one of my hobbies is restoring antique furniture) so I could work on it while listening to this book. It had that “it factor” that kept calling me back. I had just finished ACOWAR and had a bit of a book hangover from that, which makes me even more surprised at how much I loved The Raven Boys. 

I’m not going to give away anything from the plot because I think it’s better to go in not knowing what the book is really about and without getting any of the twists hinted at. 

Review of the audio:

At first, I though Will Patton kind of sounded like Donald Trump – which had me initially:

Within the first chapter though I thought maybe I was mistaken because I didn’t notice it anymore so I was surprised that my husband commented “that guy sounds just like Trump” when he walked into the room and I had the book on speaker. Don’t let it deter you though because it seriously vanished for me as he began getting into the story more.

His southern accents were great. I’ve found that some voice actors/narrators make southern accents sound like either stereotypical red-necks or uneducated. Patton did a great job at capturing that “old money” Virginian accent. And the whispering willow trees were creepy AF with him narrating, I kept getting goosebumps and looking over my shoulder every time they “spoke”.

Side note: I can’t be the only person who pictured this at first with the tree? 😂😂

Rating:

    

Final Thoughts:
– It has got great characters, a forward moving plot, and superb writing. I’ve already purchased the next book on audio.