Tuesday, June 19, 2018

‘One True Love’ by Linda Kage


3.5 stars - Fun read and great effort for the author's first fantasy novel.


Book Blurb:

“Custom demanded that Prince Urban get a love mark tattooed to the side of his left eye as an infant, just like the rest of his people, but to him, the stupid things have only brought on the scorn of his father, the misery of his siblings, and caused his entire kingdom to go broke from fighting so many wars over the irritating ink stains.

When Urban’s sister must travel to Donnelly, the kingdom within the sand, for her arranged marriage to align two realms, he goes with her. But he no sooner steps foot inside their castle than his mark starts itching like a son of a bitch, telling him his one true love is near.

It just figures, though, that the woman meant for him is completely forbidden. Now he must decide if he should ignore the persistent mark, telling him she's the one, in order to avoid a possible war between kingdoms, or if he should discover whether she's worth risking everything for so they can be together. Either way, his life gets sucked into chaos with threats of beheadings, dark magic lurking, castle traitors scheming, and sword fights eminent.

Who knew one little tattoo could cause so much trouble?”


Review:

Arranged marriages, deadly court intrigue, and a dash of magic make this NA fantasy debut a wild and fun ride.

Grab a copy: One True Love

I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book.  All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s. 

#OneTrueLove #NetGalley

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Cover Reveal: 'Keeper of the Bees' by Meg Kassel

“Beauty and the beast like you’ve never imagined!” — New York Times bestselling author Pintip Dunn




Summary:

KEEPER OF THE BEES is a tale of two teens who are both beautiful and beastly, and whose pasts are entangled in surprising and heartbreaking ways.

Dresden is cursed. His chest houses a hive of bees that he can’t stop from stinging people with psychosis-inducing venom. His face is a shifting montage of all the people who have died because of those stings. And he has been this way for centuries—since he was eighteen and magic flowed through his homeland, corrupting its people.

He follows harbingers of death, so at least his curse only affects those about to die anyway. But when he arrives in a Midwest town marked for death, he encounters Essie, a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from debilitating delusions and hallucinations. His bees want to sting her on sight. But Essie doesn’t see a monster when she looks at Dresden.

Essie is fascinated and delighted by his changing features. Risking his own life, he holds back his bees and spares her. What starts out as a simple act of mercy ends up unraveling Dresden’s solitary life and Essie’s tormented one. Their impossible romance might even be powerful enough to unravel a centuries-old curse.


‘Keeper of the Bees’ by Meg Kassel
Genre: YA Paranormal
Release Date: September 4th 2018
Entangled Teen




About the Author:

Meg Kassel is an author of fantasy and speculative books for young adults. A graduate of Parson's School of Design, she’s been creating stories, whether with visuals or words, since childhood. Meg is a New Jersey native who lives in a log house in the Maine woods with her husband and daughter. As a fan of ’80s cartoons, Netflix series, and ancient mythology, she has always been fascinated and inspired by the fantastic, the creepy, and the futuristic. She is the 2016 RWA Golden Heart® winner in YA and a double 2018 RITA® finalist for her debut novel, Black Bird of the Gallows.



Saturday, June 9, 2018

‘Grace and Fury’ by Tracy Banghart

5 stars - A perfect blend of YA fantasy and court intrigue!

Book Blurb:

“Bold, brutal, and beautiful--a must-read fantasy full of fierce sisterhood, action, and political intrigue for fans of The Selection series, Caraval, and The Handmaid's Tale.

In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.

Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace--someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir's eye, it's Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding.

Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.”


Review:

"A fierce, feminist fantasy for fans of Caraval and The Handmaid’s Tale” indeed. 'Grace and Fury' is a captivating page-turner; though it is a clean YA Fantasy novel, the characters do endure hardships and sexism is thoroughly woven into the culture our two narrators are born into.

Can't recommend this book enough! I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book.  All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s.

#GraceAndFury #NetGalley

Grab a copy of 'Grace and Fury' from your favorite bookseller or your local library on July 31st, 2018!

Saturday, June 2, 2018

‘A Touch of Magic’ (Fae-Touched #1) by Isabelle Adler

4 stars

Solid paranormal romance series opener and no cliffhanger!

Put an amateur magician unknowingly in possession of a powerful magical amulet (Cary) together with a thief who specializes in magical artifacts (Ty) and throw in some mobsters and sorcerers/sorceresses, and you’ve got ‘A Touch of Magic.’ The various magical items and mob interactions were interesting to read about, and the slow burn romance between our two leading men was sweet.

LGBT friendly. #ATouchOfMagic #NetGalley

I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book.  All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s.  

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

‘Year of Descendants’ (The Clockwork God Chronicles #3) by Aimee Hyndman

5 stars

Amazing third entry in steampunk fantasy The Clockwork God Chronicles. 'Year of Descendants' had me on the edge of my seat; this series seems to get better and better as it goes along. We see greater development of characters, relationships, and godly powers. While this does tie up some of the story line, some questions remain unanswered. Looking forward to the fourth book of The Clockwork God Chronicles, wish it was available to read now!

I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book.  All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s.  

Thursday, May 24, 2018

‘Season of Wind’ (The Clockwork God Chronicles #2) by Aimee Hyndman

5 stars!

'Season of the Wind' is a solid second entry in steampunk fantasy The Clockwork God Chronicles! There's more of everything I loved from the first book (witty banter, character development, displays of Godly powers) and even more adventure. Diving into the next book now!

I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book.  All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

‘Hour of Mischief’ (The Clockwork God Chronicles, #1) by Aimee Hyndman

4.5 stars

Excellent steampunk fantasy series opener. 12 Clockwork Gods vs 4 Elder Gods, all with magic abilities. 'Hour of Mischief' beautifully sets up the characters with witty banter, motives, and backstory, while moving the plot forward at a pleasant pace.

I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book.  All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s. 

Monday, April 30, 2018

‘True Storm’ (True Born Trilogy #3) by L.E. Sterling

4.5 stars - Excellent storytelling, non-stop action, gripping conclusion.



‘True Storm’ is the third and final book in the ‘True Born’ dystopian trilogy.  Book 1, ‘True Born’ does an excellent job introducing readers to the characters, their societal hierarchy and history, and the overarching plot of the series.  Book 2, ‘True North’ provides both the main character and the readers with more information but also more unanswered questions.  Follow the links to read the books and my reviews.

At the beginning of ‘True Storm,’ twins Lucy and Margot are safe and together in Dominion City, coping with the aftermath of Margot’s time held captive in Russia and reeling from betrayal after betrayal.  Though Margot’s experiences have clearly changed her, Lucy is happy to have her twin back and remains hopeful that their close connection will heal over time. 

The twins have recently learned that nearly everyone in their lives has kept secrets from them; they’re even keeping secrets from each other now.  Finally, within the pages of ‘Truth Storm,’ all of these secrets will be revealed and questions will be answered.

This gripping conclusion is full of plot twists and surprises for Lucy and for readers.  Though it seems Lucy has gained the attention of at least three suitors, the label ‘love-triangle’ doesn’t quite fit.  She’s clearly head-over-heels for only one of them and her feelings never waver from him.  One of my favorite aspects of this series is how strong and determined Lucy is, and how established her feelings for Margot and Jared are.



True Storm’ releases on May 1st.  Look for this series at your local library!

I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book.  All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s. 



About L.E. Sterling:

L.E. Sterling had an early obsession with sci-fi, fantasy and romance, to which she remained faithful through an M.A. in creative writing and a PhD in English literature––where she completed a thesis on magical representation. She is the author of cult hit YA novel The Originals (under pen name L.E. Vollick) and the Urban Fantasy Pluto’s Gate. True Born, first in the True Born trilogy, won the Athena Award® from the RWA. Originally hailing from Parry Sound, Ontario, L.E. spent most of her summers roaming across Canada in a van––inspiring her writing career. She currently lives in Toronto, Canada.

Author Links:
Author Website
Author Twitter
Author Facebook
Author Instagram
Author Wattpad
Author Goodreads

Sunday, April 29, 2018

‘The Deception Dance’ (The Deception Dance #1) by Rita Stradling

4.5 stars - This captivating YA paranormal thriller pulls readers in from the start and doesn't let go.

Once again, author Rita Stradling offers fully developed characters; both relatable and believable.  We follow Raven on her trip to Europe with her older sister and learn abut the supernatural forces of good and evil interfering in her life just as slowly as she discovers them.  Stradling has truly provided us with a dance of deception; as both Andras and Nicholas seem to vie for Raven’s attention, it is unclear whom she should trust.

I enjoyed the supernatural elements of this tale, the authentic character interactions, and that the potential love triangle served to drive the plot forward.  Stradling has brought something unique to the paranormal romance genre, and I am excited to continue reading this series.

The Deception Dance’ and its sequel, ‘The Lie Spinners’ release on April 30th, while the trilogy’s conclusion, ‘Waltzing into Damnation’ comes out on June 1st, 2018.  The entire series will be available as part of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program.

I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book.  All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

'Corsets and Cogs: A Steampunk Fiction Collection'

Excellent collection of steampunk tales; some short stories, some full-length novels. I read two of these with the purpose of reviewing them:

'Princesses and Frogs' by Melanie Karsak - 5 stars


A novella-length steampunk retelling of The Frog Prince in which a wealthy southerner throws an extravagant ball in New Orleans and the servants are dressed either as a Princess or a Frog. Party-goers are all a-buzz about the mysterious identity of their host, who promises to unmask himself at midnight.

'Royal Ruse' by Jayne Fury - 5 stars


A novella-length, gender-swapped steampunk retelling of 'The Twelve Dancing Princesses' in which a former soldier from another planet hopes to gain name recognition for herself by solving the mystery of where the king's twelve sons disappear to for a few nights each month.


Grab your copy!