Friday 29 May 2020

Enemy Games - Book Review (repost)

In preparation of the release of Enemy Storm I reread Enemy Games. Here's a repost of my review.

Enemy Games (Chronicles of the Empire Book #2)
by Marcella Burnard

What is it about:
Different species from different worlds make reluctant allies...

While combating a plague, scientist Jayleia Durante becomes a pawn in a greater game. With her father missing and intergalactic mercenaries on her trail, her decision to cooperate with Major Damen Sindrivik may prove advantageous...if she can control her attraction to the officer who abducted her.

Some secrets aren't worth keeping...

Damen, a spy from a rival government, will use anything, including his predatory instincts, to achieve his mission...locating Jayleia's father. She reacts to Damen's charm and seductive power, so why does he question her motivation?

Conflicted loyalties and enemies abound...

Traitors and the alien enemies threaten to destroy the galaxy. Jayleia must choose. Betray her father, risk her friends, and lose Damen, or prevent an Interstellar war?

What did I think of it:
I've been looking forward to reading this book ever since reading Enemy Within, the first book in this series. And I can tell you this book was worth the wait.

Burnard manages to mix Scifi, adventure, suspense and romance into a thrilling tale that has you hooked from the start. The world building in this book is excellent and the plot is fast paced and intricate, which makes that you have to keep paying attention or you will easily lose track of what's going on. The romance and action storylines work well together and neither overshadows the other luckily enough.

So, no negative points? Only a minor one: Jayleia is a difficult character to get to know, but I liked Damen from the start, which made me invested in Damen's attempts to break through Jayleia's defenses to get to the person inside, so in the end this wasn't really a negative point at all.

Why should you read it:
It's a thrilling, romantic, SciFi adventure.

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Thursday 28 May 2020

Cover Reveal - May Day

I'm happy to be part of the cover reveal of Josie Jaffrey's upcoming book May Day. It does sound like a wonderful read and that cover looks nice and spooky.

Click the picture for a bigger version

May Day
by Josie Jaffrey

If the murderer you’re tracking is a vampire, then you want a vampire detective.
Just maybe not this one.

It’s not that Jack Valentine is bad at her job. The youngest member of Oxford’s Seekers has an impressive track record, but she also has an impressive grudge against the local baron, Killian Drake.

When a human turns up dead on May Morning, she’s determined to pin the murder on Drake. The problem is that none of the evidence points to him. Instead, it leads Jack into a web of conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the country, people to whom Jack has no access. But she knows someone who does.

To get to the truth, Jack will have to partner up with her worst enemy. As long as she can keep her cool, Drake will point her to the ringleaders, she’ll find the murderer and no one else will have to die.

Body bags on standby.


Releasing 9 July, 2020

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Visit Josie Jaffrey's website

Wednesday 27 May 2020

I Love You So Mochi - Book Review

I Love You So Mochi
by Sarah Kuhn

What is it about:
Kimi Nakamura loves a good fashion statement. She's obsessed with transforming everyday ephemera into Kimi Originals: bold outfits that make her and her friends feel brave, fabulous, and like the Ultimate versions of themselves. But her mother sees this as a distraction from working on her portfolio paintings for the prestigious fine art academy where she's been accepted for college. So when a surprise letter comes in the mail from Kimi's estranged grandparents, inviting her to Kyoto for spring break, she seizes the opportunity to get away from the disaster of her life.

When she arrives in Japan, she loses herself in Kyoto's outdoor markets, art installations, and cherry blossom festival--and meets Akira, a cute med student who moonlights as a costumed mochi mascot. What begins as a trip to escape her problems quickly becomes a way for Kimi to learn more about the mother she left behind, and to figure out where her own heart lies.

What did I think of it:
I love Kuhn's Heroine books, so I really wanted to give her YA book I Love You So Mochi a try as well. The hardcover was a bit too expensive for me though, so I had to wait until the release of the paperback.

And it was well worth the wait.

What a lovely and beautiful story.

Yes: the romance between Kimi and Akira is super sweet and adorable, but it was Kimi's grandparents who stole my heart. I can tell you that I totally rooted for them to win Kimi's love, and their interaction with Kimi and with each other was so sweet and heartwarming. I totally had to blink away tears a time or two.

Kimi's own journey of self discovery with Akira at her side is really fun as well. I was invested from the start and read the book in almost one sitting. *shakes fist at intrusions and responsibilities*

All in all this book is a delight to read and you can bet it's going on my keeper shelves. Now the wait begins for the next Heroine book.

Why should you read it:
It's a sweet and fluffy YA delight.

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Tuesday 26 May 2020

The Fiery Crown - Release Day Book Review

The Fiery Crown (Forgotten Empires #2)
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:

Queen Euthalia has reigned over her island kingdom of Calanthe with determination, grace, and her magical, undying orchid ring. After she defied an empire to wed Conrí, the former Crown Prince of Oriel—a man of disgraced origins with vengeance in his heart—Lia expected the wizard’s prophecy to come true: Claim the hand that wears the ring and the empire falls. But Lia’s dangerous bid to save her realm doesn’t lead to immediate victory. Instead, destiny hurls her and Conrí towards a future neither could predict…


Con has never healed after the death of his family and destruction of his kingdom—he’s been carefully plotting his revenge against his greatest enemy, Emperor Anure, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. When Lia’s spies gather intelligence suggesting that Anure is planning an attack against Calanthe, Con faces an agonizing choice: Can he sacrifice Lia and all she holds dear to destroy the empire? Or does his true loyalty exist in the arms of his beguiling, passionate wife—’til death do they part?

What did I think of it:
So I totally read this book twice already, and will probably read it again once I have my finished copy in my greedy little trotters.

This is such a great read!

Lia and Con might be married and working together, but their goals couldn't be further apart. Where Lia is trying to protect her island and the people who live there, Con is bent on revenge.

I love seeing them bicker, banter, and trying to find a way to come closer to each other. Both are strong and determined so when they clash, sparks fly. And it's not the only part of their relationship where sparks fly: the growing attraction between them is fiery as well.

I loved learning more about Calanthe and her people. It is a wonderful island full of beauty and secrets. The way it is described makes Calanthe as much a character in this tale as the people who live there.

And the story! It's full of intrigue, betrayal, heartbreak, danger, and hope. What an emotional ride.

I also must mention Sondra, and Ambrose and his familiar Merle. I already loved Sondra in the first book, but she shines in this one. She had a hard life, but it didn't break her. I rooted as much for her to find happiness as I was rooting for Lia and Con to solve their problems and win Calanthe's freedom. As for Ambrose and Merle: They are so cool! Each scene with them was a delight to read.

And then there's Percy, and Ibolya, and... *wildly flailing piggy* I could wax poetic about all the cool characters and events for ages.

All in all this is a wonderful read that ends in a place that left me both satisfied for now and eager for the next book! If you love Fantasy with a slow burn romance, a marriage of convenience, and lots of emotional impact you need this trilogy!

You bet I'll be getting my trotters on the last book as soon as it releases (if not before, because I'm definitely going to try to get an ARC again).

Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful Fantasy read.

find buy links here

Monday 25 May 2020

Ink Exchange - Book Review (repost/reread)

After reading Wicked Lovely I immediately reread Ink Exchange, which I first read back in 2014.
Here's my previous review and notes on rereading at the end.

Ink Exchange (Wicked Lovely #2)
by Melissa Marr

What is it about:
Unbeknownst to mortals, a power struggle is unfolding in a world of shadows and danger. After centuries of stability, the balance among the Faery Courts has altered, and Irial, ruler of the Dark Court, is battling to hold his rebellious and newly vulnerable fey together. If he fails, bloodshed and brutality will follow.

Seventeen-year-old Leslie knows nothing of faeries or their intrigues. When she is attracted to an eerily beautiful tattoo of eyes and wings, all she knows is that she has to have it, convinced it is a tangible symbol of changes she desperately craves for her own life.

The tattoo does bring changes—not the kind Leslie has dreamed of, but sinister, compelling changes that are more than symbolic. Those changes will bind Leslie and Irial together, drawing Leslie deeper and deeper into the faery world, unable to resist its allures, and helpless to withstand its perils...

What did I think of it:
This is the second book in a series, but I think this book can perfectly be read as a standalone as well.

I really liked the world building and the mood of this story. It's dark and mysterious, and hints at the magic that's hidden from mundane people.

I really liked Leslie. She's been broken, but managed to put herself together again, although the cracks are still showing. It made her both vulnerable and strong. I rooted for her to find the freedom, the change, she is longing for.

There are two men who are interested in Leslie, although I wouldn't call it a love triangle. Both Niall and Irial are complex and intriguing characters, and I had a hard time to decide which of them I was rooting for to succeed in his plans. (To be honest, the only characters I didn't care for turned out to be the lead characters of the first book in this series.)

The story is compelling and I had to keep reading to see where things would lead to. I love how this story makes you think. It's not black and white, but made up out of many shades of grey.

The ending was satisfying, although not what I expected.

I'm not sure if I will read other books in this series, because I didn't like the characters who will have the lead roles in the other books in this series. I will investigate what other books Marr has written though.

Why should you read it:
It's a compelling YA Faery read.

Notes on rereading:
It's fun to see what I thought of the main characters of Wicked Lovely when I first read this book. Not knowing the previous events and only seeing the characters through Leslie's eyes sure paints them in a very different light than when you do know what they have been going through. I caught much more nuance to this story the second time around, especially armed with more knowledge about both the fey and the lead characters from Wicked Lovely. I still think this book can be enjoyed as a standalone, but it becomes so much richer if you do read Wicked Lovely first. You bet I'll be picking up book three soon.

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Friday 22 May 2020

Wicked Lovely - Book Review

Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely #1)
by Melissa Marr

What is it about:
Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.
Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty - especially if they learn of her Sight - and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.

Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.
Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.
But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King, who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost — regardless of her plans or desires.

Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.

Faery intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning twenty-first-century faery tale.

What did I think of it:
I got my trotters on the second book in this series in 2014 and read it back then without reading the first book. I really enjoyed it, but wasn't sure about the lead characters in this book, who had a small role in book 2. Anyway: a friend gifted me the entire series last year, and when I recently saw the cover of the prequel book which just released this month, I wanted it! So it was time to read this series from the start and see if I'd love the other books as much as the one book I already read.

And what a cool read this is!

The story was nothing like I thought it would be, and that's a good thing I can tell you. I expected a love triangle comparable with Twilight or one of the gazilion other YA books with love triangles. Instead I got a darkly alluring tale with faeries who don't think like humans, and don't treat love as humans do.

It's clear Keenan wants something from Aislinn, but it's far different than what I thought, and I was hooked from the start. I needed to find out what all these creepy fairies wanted from Aislinn, and if she would be able to stay true to herself and her friends.

I was gripped by both the story and the world Marr creates within the pages of this book. You bet I immediately picked up book 2 for a reread as soon as I finished this one.

Why should you read it:
It's a darkly alluring YA Urban Fantasy read.

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Thursday 21 May 2020

The Only Harmless Great Thing - Book Review (repost)

Another book I recently reread, so here's a repost of my review.

The Only Harmless Great Thing
by Brooke Bolander

What is it about:
In the early years of the 20th century, a group of female factory workers in Newark, New Jersey slowly died of radiation poisoning. Around the same time, an Indian elephant was deliberately put to death by electricity in Coney Island.

These are the facts.

Now these two tragedies are intertwined in a dark alternate history of rage, radioactivity, and injustice crying out to be righted. Prepare yourself for a wrenching journey that crosses eras, chronicling histories of cruelty both grand and petty in search of meaning and justice.

What did I think of it:
As I loved Bolander's short story that was nominated for this year's Hugo Awards, I had to read her entry for Best Novelette of course.

*insert wildly flailing and blubbering piggy*

This is such a painfully beautiful story!

This alternate history has elephants working in a factory to paint the dials and numbers on watches with radioactive paint. As the story unfolds you get to know the girl who is instructed to teach them, and one elephant who is slowly getting to her breaking point. In between there are parts where elephants tell each other the stories of their ancestors.

I can not even tell you how much this story gripped me, how much I was rooting for the characters, and how much I cried over this book. I can tell you that I immediately ordered a print copy of this book when I finished it, and that I'll definitely will read more by Bolander.

Why should you read it:
It's a painfully beautiful story.

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Wednesday 20 May 2020

Hunting Fiends for the Ill-Equipped - Book Review

Hunting Fiends for the Ill-Equipped (The Guild Codex: Demonized #3)
by Annette Marie

What is it about:
I thought I understood power.

My parents taught me that magic attracts equal danger, and everything I've seen since becoming a demon contractor confirms it. I've witnessed how power twists and corrupts--and I've tasted power no human should wield.

I thought I knew greed.

Ambition and avarice drove my family into hiding. My parents died for someone else's greed. I've never hunted anything in my life, but now I'm hunting their killer--with my demon's help.

I thought I'd seen evil.

But with each step closer to my parents' murderer, I'm uncovering a different sort of evil, piece by hidden piece. I've stumbled into an insidious web that silently, secretly ensnares everything it touches. My demon and I came as the hunters...

...but I think we might be the prey.

Author's Note: The Guild Codex includes two series, Demonized and Spellbound, which can be read and enjoyed all on their own; however, this book contains spoilers for Demon Magic and a Martini (Spellbound #4). If you were thinking about giving Spellbound a try, I recommend reading it first.

What did I think of it:
I am totally loving this series and the Spellbound series. I will add that I totally agree with the author's note above: if you don't want to be spoiled about the Spellbound series, make sure to read at least up to book 4, and I'd actually even advice to read up to book 6 of the Spellbound series before reading this book.

That being said: This is another great addition to this series and world. I loved seeing characters from both series teaming and working together, even if some of it is more out of self preservation or even self interest.

The growing bond and attraction between Robin and Zylas is great to read and I raced through this book to see if they manage to find a way for Zylas to reclaim what he's lost, and for Robin to stay out of the grip of her enemies.

All in all a fun and very enjoyable read. The next book will already be the last one in this series, luckily there will be two more Spellbound books as well.

Why should you read it:
It's a cool and enjoyable Urban Fantasy read.

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Tuesday 19 May 2020

Teaser Tuesdays - Aurora Rising

Everybody and their goldfish seem to be talking about this book, so I'm giving it a try.

But holding my bruised ribs, I step forward with my best smile to defuse things. I didn't spend my diplomacy classes sleeping, after all.

(page 52, Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff)

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday 18 May 2020

Imaginary Numbers - Book Review

Imaginary Numbers (InCryptid #9)
by Seanan McGuire

What is it about:
The ninth book in the fast-paced InCryptid urban fantasy series returns to the mishaps of the Price family, eccentric cryptozoologists who safeguard the world of magical creatures living in secret among humans.

Sarah Zellaby has always been in an interesting position. Adopted into the Price family at a young age, she’s never been able to escape the biological reality of her origins: she’s a cuckoo, a telepathic ambush predator closer akin to a parasitic wasp than a human being. Friend, cousin, mathematician; it’s never been enough to dispel the fear that one day, nature will win out over nurture, and everything will change.

Maybe that time has finally come.

After spending the last several years recuperating in Ohio with her adoptive parents, Sarah is ready to return to the world–and most importantly, to her cousin Artie, with whom she has been head-over-heels in love since childhood. But there are cuckoos everywhere, and when the question of her own survival is weighed against the survival of her family, Sarah’s choices all add up to one inescapable conclusion.

This is war. Cuckoo vs. Price, human vs. cryptid…and not all of them are going to walk away.

What did I think of it:
Finally a new lead character again!

I absolutely adore Sarah, and I loved being inside her head. I didn't know Artie very well yet, but he is really cool as well. I didn't like the fact that Antimony once again had a big role though. She had three books already, can't she just go take a break?

That aside this is such a great read. The story is suspenseful and thrilling. What will happen? Will Sarah manage to keep herself and her adopted family safe? The cuckoos were already scary, but here they take on an extra layer of creepy. And then there's the romance between Sarah and Artie, and it is just so sweet.

The mice are back as well, and I loved seeing them again. They are so fun and cool. I wouldn't be surprised if they will have a big role to play in the conclusion of Sarah's story.

All in all this is a wonderful read that I read in almost one sitting. You bet I'll impatiently be waiting for the next book, because I really need to know what will happen next.

Why should you read it:
It's a wonderful and suspenseful Urban Fantasy read.

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Friday 15 May 2020

Beneath the Sugar Sky - Book Review (repost)

Another reread

Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children #3)
by Seanan McGuire

What is it about:
When Rini lands with a literal splash in the pond behind Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children, the last thing she expects to find is that her mother, Sumi, died years before Rini was even conceived. But Rini can’t let Reality get in the way of her quest – not when she has an entire world to save! (Much more common than one would suppose.)

If she can't find a way to restore her mother, Rini will have more than a world to save: she will never have been born in the first place. And in a world without magic, she doesn’t have long before Reality notices her existence and washes her away. Good thing the student body is well-acquainted with quests...

A tale of friendship, baking, and derring-do.

Warning: May contain nuts.

What did I think of it:
And finally I got to the book that is a Hugo nominee this year! I will confess that I did feel a bit guilty that I read the two books before this one, because I did put aside two of the Hugo nominees in the novella category for not being the first in a series. But then again: at least I'm trying to get some of the nominations read instead of just voting for what sounds familiar.

Anyway: This story is mainly told from the perspective of Cora. A new student at Eleanor's school. There are characters who played an important role in the first book who are once again playing bigger roles in this book as well. So I'm glad I read the first book, because it made this story come alive even more.

The children/teens decide to help out Rini, who is from the future of the Fantastical world her mother traveled back to as a child after staying at the school. Except... her mother died before going back. So it's up to Cora and her friends to find a way to undo the past.

I loved getting to know yet another fantastical world, and to learn more about the students I already met in the first book, as well as getting to know the new characters. This book wasn't as emotional for me as the first, but I very much enjoyed the adventures and the camaraderie between the teens.

All in all a great addition to this series, and I immediately went on to read book 4.

Why should you read it:
It's a really fun Fantasy read

buy from Amazon

Thursday 14 May 2020

Enemy Within - Book Review

Enemy Within (Chronicles of the Empire Book #1)
by Marcella Burnard

What is it about:
Horrific torture in an alien prison torpedoed Captain Ari Idylle's military career. Stripped of command and banished to her father's scientific expedition to finish a PhD she doesn't want, Ari refuses to fly a desk. She intends to have her command back by any means possible, until pirates commandeer her father's ship, and she's once again a prisoner. Perhaps this cunning captor isn't what he pretends to be.

As far as Cullin Seaghdh is concerned, the same goes for Ari. Her past association with aliens puts her dead center in Cullin's cross-hairs. If she hasn't been brainwashed and returned as a spy, then she must be part of a traitorous alliance endangering billions of lives. He can't afford the desire she fires within him. His mission comes first. He'll stop at nothing, including her destruction, to uncover her true purpose and protect what is his.

What did I think of it:
In preparation of the release of Enemy Storm (the third book in this series) I decided to reread the first two books.

And what a cool read this first book is!

I loved Ari from the start. She went through a lot and while it certainly damaged her, it didn't break her. She is fighting hard to reclaim her life on her own terms, even though there are people who are making it difficult for her.

When Cullin and his men capture her and the team she works with, she decides to cooperate to keep as many people safe and alive. From there on out she finds herself drawn into a dangerous game that might destroy her life (and heart) all over again.

The worldbuilding is amazing, and I especially love the creepy aliens that have held Ari captive and are a threat still.

I have read this book several times already, but once again I was totally hooked. I grumbled in annoyance at people making things difficult for Ari, cheered for her when things went well, and couldn't put this book down until the satisfying conclusion.

You bet I'll dive into Enemy Games as soon as possible.

Why should you read it:
Cool SF Romance with creepy aliens

buy from amazon

Wednesday 13 May 2020

Twelve Kingdoms Reread: The Arrows of the Heart - Book Review

Next in my reread of The Twelve Kingdoms/Uncharted Realms books was THe Arrows of the Heart. Here's my earlier review with notes on rereading at the end.

The Arrows of the Heart (The Uncharted Realms #4)
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:

As the Twelve Kingdoms and their allies are drawn toward war, a princess cast aside must discover a purpose she never dreamed of…

Karyn af Hardie behaved like a proper Dasnarian wife. She acquiesced, she accepted, she submitted. Until her husband gave her a choice: their loveless, unconsummated royal marriage—or her freedom. Karyn chose freedom. But with nowhere to run except into the arms of Dasnaria’s enemies, she wonders if she’s made a mistake. She wants love, security, a family. She can’t imagine finding any of it among the mercurial Tala.

Worst of all is Zyr. The uninhibited shapeshifter is everywhere she looks. He’s magnetic, relentless, teasing and tempting as if she’s free to take her pleasure where she wishes. As if there isn’t a war rising before them, against a vile and demanding force far stronger than they. But with Karyn’s loyalty far from certain, Zyr offers her only chance to aid the defense—a dangerous gambit to seek out a land not seen in centuries, using clues no one can decipher. Together, they’ll have every opportunity to fail—and one chance to steal something truly precious…

What did I (and Voodoo Bride) think of it:
If you've paid attention you know by now that Jeffe is one of my favorite authors, and I love her books. So it can't be a surprise that I got my greedy trotters on this book early and already read it (twice). Still I'm eager to get hold of a print copy to add to my keeper shelves.

This book is awesome!

Karyn and Zyr are great together. Karyn is on her own for the first time in her life, unused to making decisions for herself, and unused to handsome men flirting with her. For Zyr flirting with pretty girls seems to be as natural as breathing, but let me tell you: there is so much more to him than what he shows on the outside. I loved their banter, and the growing attraction between them. Voodoo Bride wants me to add that Zyr is the yummiest of all the yummy men in this series, and he is totally her favorite.

Next to the delicious romance there is a very cool action storyline. Karyn and Zyr are looking for a lost land, but others are seeking it as well. There is danger, and the things the two of them encounter and endure are creepy and disturbing. I was rooting for them to stay alive. I could wax poetic about all the cool and creepy stuff in this book, but it would be too spoilery though.

This being a Fantasy Romance there is a very satisfying end to this book, but the problems for the Twelve Kingdoms aren't over yet, so I'm eagerly awaiting the next book in this series, both hoping that everyone gets a happily-ever-after, and hoping that the happily-ever-after will take many books to reach.

Why should you read it:
It's a delicious Fantasy Romance

Notes on rereading:
I've read all the books in this series multiple times, but this one is fastly outpacing the others I'll confess. I find myself picking up this book when I need a comfort read. Zyr and Karyn always put me in a good mood.

Find buy links here

Tuesday 12 May 2020

Teaser Tuesdays - The Lucky Ones

I've heard people talking about it in the halls, moaning how unfair it is that we have to suffer just because those kids needed a new place to go.
Which should tell you something about my classmates and how wonderful they are. Just so, so wonderful.

(page 24, The Lucky Ones by Liz Lawson)

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday 11 May 2020

That Ain’t Witchcraft - Book Review

That Ain’t Witchcraft (InCryptid #8)
by Seanan McGuire

What is it about:
Crossroads, noun:

1. A place where two roads cross.
2. A place where bargains can be made.
3. See also “places to avoid.”

Antimony Price has never done well without a support system. As the youngest of her generation, she has always been able to depend on her parents, siblings, and cousins to help her out when she’s in a pinch—until now. After fleeing from the Covenant of St. George, she’s found herself in debt to the crossroads and running for her life. No family. No mice. No way out.

Lucky for her, she’s always been resourceful, and she’s been gathering allies as she travels: Sam, fūri trapeze artist turned boyfriend; Cylia, jink roller derby captain and designated driver; Fern, sylph friend, confidant, and maker of breakfasts; even Mary, ghost babysitter to the Price family. Annie’s actually starting to feel like they might be able to figure things out—which is probably why things start going wrong again.

New Gravesend, Maine is a nice place to raise a family…or make a binding contract with the crossroads. For James Smith, whose best friend disappeared when she tried to do precisely that, it’s also an excellent place to plot revenge. Now the crossroads want him dead and they want Annie to do the dirty deed. She owes them, after all.

And that’s before Leonard Cunningham, aka, “the next leader of the Covenant,” shows up…

It’s going to take everything Annie has and a little bit more to get out of this one. If she succeeds, she gets to go home. If she fails, she becomes one more cautionary tale about the dangers of bargaining with the crossroads.

But no pressure.

What did I think of it:
This is a really cool story with lots of intriguing information bout the crossroads, but I will confess that three books about Antimony and Sam was getting a bit much for me.

As much as I enjoy the world and the overall story, I just was getting tired of Antimony's whining about her family and Verity in particular. And as nice as Sam is: he's a monkey. I really don't have anything with monkeys.

So it says something about McGuire's storytelling that I was as engrossed in this book as I was. I absolutely wanted to find out what was up with the crossroads, and I loved seeing Leonard again. If only he had been the love interest!

All in all a cool read, but I'm glad the next book will have a different lead character.

Why should you read it:
It's a cool UF read.

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Friday 8 May 2020

Every Heart a Doorway - Book Review (repost)

I reread this book, so thought I'd repost my review.

Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1)
by Seanan McGuire

What is it about:
Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere... else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

What did I think of it:
After reading Down Among the Sticks and Bones I decided I needed to read the first book as well, before moving on to book 3 for... clarity. Yeah, that's it: clarity. Not because I was eager for lots more of this series. *cough*

And this book just blew me away!

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children is a boarding school for children and teens who found a doorway to a another world, but then got back home where they don't fit (anymore). at Eleanor's school they learn how to deal with the loss of the world they had to leave and they can share their stories with others who understand.

Ever read a book where at the end the kid comes home after amazing adventures in a fantastical far away world and where they made tons of friends, and instead of seeing it as a good ending you cried for the loss of the magic, the friends, and the fitting in that the lead character found in that world? This book is for you if you answered yes!

I was hooked from the start and felt for Nancy. She misses the world she found, the acceptance she got there, the life she had there, and mourns that loss. Her parents don't understand her and in the hope of getting her to become normal again (read: be the happy pastel colored daughter they want, instead of the quiet girl dressed in black she wants to be.) they send her off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. I tell you: if I found a door like Nancy's door when I was a child, this story could have been about me!

I rooted for Nancy while also being grabbed by the mystery of what dark thing is going on at the school. I couldn't put the book down until I reached the end. And I bawled my eyes out in the best of ways, I can tell you. It's been a long time since a story hit me this hard emotionally.

You bet I immediately ordered a print copy of this book and it will be reread and hugged often. I also picked up Beneath the Sugar Sky right away.

Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful and emotional Fantasy read.

Buy from Amazon

Thursday 7 May 2020

On McPig's wishlist - Don't Ask Me Where I'm From

Don't Ask Me Where I'm From
by Jennifer De Leon

First-generation American LatinX Liliana Cruz does what it takes to fit in at her new nearly all-white school. But when family secrets spill out and racism at school ramps up, she must decide what she believes in and take a stand.

Fifteen-year-old Liliana is fine, thank you very much. It’s fine that her best friend, Jade, is all caught up in her new boyfriend lately. It’s fine that her inner-city high school is disorganized and underfunded. It’s fine that her father took off again—okay, maybe that isn’t fine, but what is Liliana supposed to do? She’s fifteen! Being left with her increasingly crazy mom? Fine. Her heathen little brothers? Fine, fine, fine. But it turns out Dad did leave one thing behind besides her crazy family. Before he left, he signed Liliana up for a school desegregation program called METCO. And she’s been accepted.

Being accepted into METCO, however, isn’t the same as being accepted at her new school. In her old school, Liliana—half-Guatemalan and half-Salvadorian—was part of the majority where almost everyone was a person of color. But now at Westburg, where almost everyone is white, the struggles of being a minority are unavoidable. It becomes clear that the only way to survive is to lighten up—whiten up. And if Dad signed her up for this program, he wouldn’t have just wanted Liliana to survive, he would have wanted her to thrive. So what if Liliana is now going by Lili? So what if she’s acting like she thinks she’s better than her old friends? It’s not a big deal. It’s fine.

But then she discovers the gutting truth about her father: He’s not on one of his side trips. And it isn’t that he doesn’t want to come home…he can’t. He’s undocumented and he’s been deported back to Guatemala. Soon, nothing is fine, and Lili has to make a choice: She’s done trying to make her white classmates and teachers feel more comfortable. Done changing who she is, denying her culture and where she came from. They want to know where she’s from, what she’s about? Liliana is ready to tell them.

Buy from bookdepository

Wednesday 6 May 2020

Taken by the Cult - Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Taken by the Cult - Coming of Age: Episode 1
by Delilah Doe

What is it about:
I never asked to be in a cult. When my screw-up mother moved us into the Compound, nobody told me I wouldn’t see the outside world again. They didn’t even let me keep my name.

Now I’m Delilah Doe and I’ve learned not to argue. Obedience is easier.

Or, it was—until I came of age. Now my Sisters in the church, Adah and Leah, and I have been called to a special ceremony. They dressed us as brides in white - and though we always knew we’d be expected to marry and honor our husbands in the Temple Bed – we never could’ve imagined what they’d do to us

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
After reading His Harlot I was in the mood for more Erotica. On my search for something new I came across this Paranormal BDSM erotica serial.

And it turned out to be just what I was in the mood for.

Be warned: No romance here. In this first episode we get to meet Delilah and learn about her life before and after joining the cult she's in. She is chosen with two others for a special ceremony and although things don't get too spicy in this episode, it's a delicious intro, promising lots of erotic yumminess to come.

You can bet I'll be reading the other episodes as well.

Why should you read it:
If you like (Paranormal) BDSM Erotica you'll enjoy this.

buy from amazon

Tuesday 5 May 2020

His Harlot - Release Day Book Review by Voodoo Bride

His Harlot (Victorian Decadence #1)
by S.M. LaViolette

What is it about:
What’s the most ruinous mistake a harlot can make?

Falling in love with her client …

Edward Fanshawe is everything Nora Hudson wants in the bedroom—and everything she should avoid out of it. He gives her the pain, humiliation, and domination she craves from a sexual partner, but his search for the perfect, blue-blooded wife means the last thing Nora should do is fall for him. Except…it’s too late. She already has.

When Edward offers to make Nora his mistress, the idea of being utterly under his dominion is as terrifying as it is titillating. As much as she wants to stay with Edward forever, she worries that living with the man she loves—the man who takes everything her body has to give and wants nothing to do with her heart—will eventually destroy her.

But then Nora meets the woman Edward intends to marry and her situation becomes considerably more complicated. And erotic…

His Harlot is an angsty, dark, standalone historical erotic romance novel featuring consensual BDSM and both M/F, F/F, voyeurism, exhibitionism, explicit love scenes, and YES, a happily ever after!

This is EROTIC ROMANCE, not erotica. That means this has a real story and lots of it.

!!!!!!!TRIGGER WARNING!!!!!!! marital infidelity, sexual abuse, miscarriage, & lots of kink.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
This is a hot and delicious read.

I usually don't like romances where there is infidelity, but I must say I didn't mind that in this book: it fit the story perfectly.

Nora is a working in a brothel, so even if she is in love with one of her clients, she can hardly stop working. As for Edward: He's stubbornly refusing to see the truth and is in total denial for a long time.

The scenes between Nora and Edward are totally steaming and intense. I was completely hooked from the start and wanted to keep reading to see if these two could not only connect bodily, but if they would finally be able to find happiness together. Next to their delicious encounters there are a couple of really spicy scenes involving others and some really yummy kink scenes as well.

And this is indeed an Erotic Romance: there might be a lot of angsting, tension, and misunderstandings between these two, but there is the well deserved HEA that had me all happy and satisfied. You bet this book is a keeper.

And I'm totally looking forward to the next book in this series.

Why should you read it:
It's a delicious Erotic Romance

buy from amazon

Monday 4 May 2020

Twelve Kingdoms Reread: The Shift of the Tide - Book Review

No, I didn't forget about the Twelve Kingdoms reread, but the last few months have been weird and my reading has been all over the place as a result. But I finally picked up The Shift of the Tide this weekend and raced through it. What a wonderful read and what a beautiful series.

Here's my earlier review with notes on rereading at the end.

The Shift of the Tide (The Uncharted Realms #3)
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:
Released from the grip of a tyrant, the Twelve Kingdoms have thrown all that touch them into chaos. As the borders open, new enemies emerge to vie for their hard-won power—and old deceptions crumble under the strain…

The most talented shapeshifter of her generation, Zynda has one love in her life: freedom. The open air above her, the water before her, the sun on her skin or wings or fur—their sensual glories more than make up for her loneliness. She serves the High Queen’s company well, but she can’t trust her allies with her secrets, or the secrets of her people. Best that she should keep her distance, alone.

Except wherever she escapes, Marskal, the Queen’s quiet lieutenant, seems to find her. Solid, stubborn, and disciplined, he’s no more fluid than rock. Yet he knows what she likes, what thrills and unnerves her, when she’s hiding something. His lithe warrior’s body promises pleasure she has gone too long without. But no matter how careful, how tender, how incendiary he is, only Zynda can know the sacrifice she must make for her people’s future—and the time is drawing near…

What did I think of it:
I will confess that i had my doubts about Zynda at the start of the book. She seemed a bit too smug about herself and her powers. But soon she encounters situations that teach her she still has lots to learn about life, and when I saw she is capable of changing her views when they're clearly wrong I fell in love.

And then there's Marskal. He's the kind of hero I love, but don't often encounter. He might not be a man of many words, but his actions show more clearly than words ever could how he feels about Zynda and others in his life. He's there when needed and doesn't waver. I loved how I actually got to see who he is and what he stands for instead of hearing him say so and having to believe him at his word.

The challenges the both of them face are many and I was rooting for them to succeed. The stakes are high and at times I feared for how things might end. Luckily Jeffe is the kind of author who never disappoints when it comes to a satisfying ending.

I also loved that there were glimpses of the couples from previous books and to see what those were up to.

As you might already have guessed by my remark about satisfying endings, I loved the conclusion of this book. Zynda and Marskal's tale is told, but in the overall storyline of the series there's enough left to make me hungry for more. Luckily there will at least be one more book.

Why should you read it:
It's a wonderful Fantasy Romance

Notes on rereading:
I will confess I've read several incarnations of this book while it was being written, so there were a few moments where I was confused that something didn't happen as I remembered, before I remembered that it was changed in the final version. And for the better I can tell you!

Find buy links here

Friday 1 May 2020

The Thirteen Problems - Book Review

The Thirteen Problems (Miss Marple #2)
by Agatha Christie

What is it about:
One Tuesday evening a group gathers at Miss Marple’s house and the conversation turns to unsolved crimes…

The case of the disappearing bloodstains; the thief who committed his crime twice over; the message on the death-bed of a poisoned man which read ‘heap of fish’; the strange case of the invisible will; a spiritualist who warned that ‘Blue Geranium’ meant death…

What did I think of it:
This is yet another very enjoyable Miss Marple book.

In this one there are thirteen mysteries for Miss Marple to solve, and solve them she does! It's fun to try and guess along with the gathered people in this book, and see if you can get close to the solution of these murders and mysteries. As always these aren't your average murders, but cleverly constructed like a puzzle box waiting for the right combination.

This book is a great place to start to see if you like Miss Marple and her sharp mind if you're new to these books.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and clever Mystery read.

buy from bookdepository