Review of Prince of Never by Juno Heart

Synopsis:
A fae prince with a poisoned heart. A mortal girl with a magical voice. Neither one believes in fairy tales.

City waitress Lara has the voice of an angel and no idea she’s marked as the fated mate of a silver-eyed royal from another realm. When she falls into Faery and meets an obnoxious huntsman who mistakes her for a troll, she’s amazed to discover he’s the cursed Prince of Air in disguise. Ever’s mother, the queen, is less than impressed. The opposing court of techno-loving Unseelie wants her as their very own pet. And an evil air mage wishes her dead.

Held captive by Elemental fae in the Land of Five, she’s certainly hit rock bottom.

But songs wield power, and Lara happens to be a true diva. Now if only she can use her newfound magical skill to make the Prince of Never a little less attractive. The first thing she wants is to find a way back home, and the last is to fall in love.

Prince of Never is book 1 in the YA enemies-to-lovers Black Blood Fae series. Each book has a HEA and stars a different cursed prince and his human fated mate.** Now contains an extended, swoony, all-the-feels love scene that isn’t included in the audio book. No longer fade-to-black due to popular demand! If you have the previous version, contact me to read the new scene.

Review:
This book was interesting. It seemed a little bit too good to be true in the enemies to lovers/insta-love sense. The characters didn’t really take the time to get to know each other that well, and while we are shown they start spending more time together, they never seem to really get to any depth of each other, except realizing that they care for each other. While I didn’t mind the story, I did find that there wasn’t really any bite to it- no stakes that the reader worries about. I hadn’t realized that there was previously a fade to black love scene, though I did think that the “steamy” part was a bit lackluster and didn’t really enrapture me. The word play and teasing back and forth between the main characters was fun, just felt like there should have been something more. There is also no real reason ever given as to why Lara’s singing is so powerful. It wasn’t a hard read, and I did read it rather quickly. Not quite sure if I will continue the series but if enemies to lovers if your MO then go for it.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯

Review of A Taste of Poison: A Snow White Retelling by Tessonja Odette

Synopsis:
A runaway princess wanted for murder.
A deadly huntsman who’s after her heart…

Half-fae Astrid Snow is used to being disliked. With magic that makes her mirror back one’s worst qualities, she has more enemies than friends. And when she’s accused of poisoning her father, her stepmother—the formidable Spring Queen—becomes her greatest enemy yet. Forced into hiding, she finds solace at the Seven Sins Hotel. It provides the perfect subterfuge she needs. For who could ever find an outlaw in a hotel famed for sin?

Bear shifter Torben Davenport lost everything to the gambling halls. To pay off his debts, he serves the fae royals as their personal Huntsman, locating hard-to-find fugitives with his scent-based magic. When the Spring Queen offers him a bargain that will erase his debts for good, he’s willing to do what it takes—even if it means finding the queen’s runaway stepdaughter and cutting out her heart.

Astrid won’t go down without a fight, even if her assailant is a strikingly handsome Huntsman. If she can evade the bear-shifter’s claws, maybe she can make him an ally. It’s easier said than done, especially after she accidentally gets herself handcuffed to her infuriating captor.

Can Astrid cut through Torben’s icy demeanor and convince him to help her find the real killer? Or will she lose her heart in more ways than one?

ACOTAR meets Kingdom of the Wicked in this standalone fairytale retelling of Snow White. If you like brooding heroes, just one bed, and grumpy sunshine romances, then you’ll love this swoon-worthy story in the Entangled with Fae series.

*NOTE this book is upper YA/NA featuring mature situations, moderate violence and gore, substance abuse, and some adult language. The romance is slow burn but leads to moderate steam.

A Taste of Poison is a complete stand-alone novel set in the same world as The Fair Isle Trilogy. Journey back to Faerwyvae or begin your adventure for the first time with this enchanting tale. Each book in the Entangled with Fae series can be read on its own and in any order. Happily ever after guaranteed!

Review:
Wasn’t completely sure how I’d feel about this one since Astrid was so interesting. I quite enjoyed how the Huntsman got caught up and found himself more involved than he intended. I also had figured out who our big bad was going to be which I am quite please with myself for! This story had such depth and I quite loved all of the different places and people we got to meet and experience. It was beautiful seeing Astrid learn to let herself be and feel, and I think that’s something a lot of us relate to. Emotions are hard. It can be very difficult to process them and many times you can find yourself stagnant and trapped by memories and bad things, be that by what you use to get away from it or the thoughts themselves, but it’s important in life to keep moving forward and growing and working through. Quite enjoyed it, and very much enjoyed the connection that Astrid and Torben have!

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Kiss of the Selkie: A Little Mermaid Retelling by Tessonja Odette

Synopsis:
A handsome fugitive seeking a marriage of convenience.
A selkie with a lethal kiss sent to seal his fate…

To evade a vicious sea queen’s clutches, selkie Maisie hides on land surviving as a thief. But when she rescues a human from drowning and illegally brings him to shore, she must answer for breaking fae law. As punishment, she’ll have to hunt down the man she saved…and kiss him. But with a kiss that can kill, Maisie’s mission means more than seduction. It means murder.

Son of a notorious fae-killer, Dorian was never meant to survive the shipwreck that was orchestrated to assassinate him. Now that he’s on the forbidden fae isle, he’ll do anything to gain citizenship—even marry a fae bride. Desperate for a hasty marriage, he holds a bridal competition in the isle’s most theatrical city, where displays of frivolity aren’t just encouraged—they’re expected. And if Maisie can act like a proper debutante and join the pageantry, she’ll get near enough to deliver her fatal kiss.

But getting close to her target brings complications she didn’t expect. As she pretends to compete for Dorian’s heart, it starts to feel less like an act…and more like falling in love.

If Maisie doesn’t deliver her kiss by sunrise on the last day of the competition, she forfeits her life. But if she succeeds, Dorian dies. When the pageant ends, will there be a true victor? Or only death and broken hearts?

ACOTAR meets Bridgerton and The Selection in this standalone fairytale retelling of The Little Mermaid. If you like enemies-to-lovers romance, bridal contests, and snarky fae royals, then you’ll love this swoon-worthy story in the Entangled with Fae series.

*NOTE this book is upper YA/NA featuring mature situations and some adult language. The romance is slow burn but leads to moderate steam.

Kiss of the Selkie is a complete stand-alone novel set in the same world as The Fair Isle Trilogy. Journey back to Faerwyvae or begin your adventure for the first time with this enchanting tale. Each book in the Entangled with Fae series can be read on its own and in any order. Happily ever after guaranteed!

Review:
I absolutely loved this book. In truth, there was a small element taken from The Little Mermaid, but it was a fully story and then some on it’s own. A completely well flushed out and brilliant story about characters we come to care about. Maisie isn’t your typical princess, and it’s interesting to see how her unconventional upbringing has warped her senses of both propriety as well as morality. We already knew there was something unusual about Maisie, but I loved learning more about Podaxis and all of the other multitude of characters within this story. I absolutely love how this other gives such depth and vibrancy to all of her characters and lets you get to know so many while keeping the knowledge organic within the story. Maisie’s connection with the sea witch is absolutely brilliant, and I very much adored the slow burn enemies to lovers heat and passion between Maisie and Dorian. Highly recommend, and cannot wait to start the next in the series!

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Heart of the Raven Prince: A Cinderella Retelling by Tessonja Odette

Synopsis:
A playboy prince in want of a decoy bride.
A servant girl desperate for a disguise…

Raven shifter Prince Franco is every social climbing debutante’s dream. He’s handsome, heir to the Lunar Court throne, and deliciously single. Every young woman wants to bed him, wed him, or steal a moment of his time. Except, of course, for Ember Montgomery.

Half-fae Ember craves freedom from her conniving stepfamily. As if they weren’t enough to deal with, a chance encounter with the arrogant Prince Franco leaves her humiliated and in a fiery rage. Nothing could convince her the prince is anything but a rake. But when the opportunity to evade her scheming stepmother falls into her lap, she’ll pay the price—even if it means impersonating the prince’s newest flame…

To prove himself a worthy heir, Prince Franco must marry a princess. But after far too many unsatisfying trysts, he’s given up on love. With the social season in full swing, and bringing with it a horde of husband-hungry socialites, he’ll do anything to delay the pressures of both marriage and the crown. And what better solution than an alliance with a desperate servant girl glamoured as his false future bride?

Locked in a bargain, Ember must pose as a princess until midnight at the full moon ball. Until then, all she has to do is wear the glamour, pretend to court the prince, and above all else, not fall in love. But when feelings emerge on both sides, she starts to wonder if there’s more to their contrived courtship than either of them planned…

Can Ember and Franco find love when the masks come off? Or will illusions and lies prove stronger than their hearts?

ACOTAR meets Bridgerton in this standalone fairytale retelling of Cinderella. If you like slow burn romance, fake engagements, and snarky fae royals, then you’ll love this swoon-worthy story in the Entangled with Fae series.

*NOTE this book is upper YA/NA featuring mature situations and some adult language. The romance is slow burn but leads to moderate steam.

Heart of the Raven Prince is a complete stand-alone novel set in the same world as The Fair Isle Trilogy. Journey back to Faerwyvae or begin your adventure for the first time with this enchanting tale. Each book in the Entangled with Fae series can be read on its own and in any order. Happily ever after guaranteed!

Review:
I wasn’t sure I was going to love this one as much as I liked the Beauty and the Beast one, because it had been so full of passing wisdom on how people think and act and how easy it was to get lost in a book. Ember has her own passion to be lost in, but she also had to find herself, whereas Gemma already knew herself and was trying to find a place in the world that would accept her. That being said, it’s hard not to love Ember. Ember is a damsel, in distress, that has every intention of saving herself. Her humanity is endearing, and her desire to help others is as well. Seeing how Franco grows from their interactions, as well as what Ember gains in return, is brilliant and I’m so very glad I read this! I had been a little worried that something dastardly would happen towards the end, given how The Curse of the Wolf King had such upheaval when you thought everything was neatly tied together, and there was; just not what I had thought it might be. All in all, I quite enjoy this series, and the underlining perhaps unintentional lesson that one doesn’t need to marry to be whole and in an equal partnership. Also I LOVE the wisps!!!

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Curse of the Wolf King by Tessonja Odette

Synopsis:
A beastly fae king with a deadly curse.
A devious bargain to break it…

All Gemma Bellefleur wants is to leave her past behind and forget the day scandal broke her heart. But when she’s captured by a trickster fae king who threatens to hold her for ransom, she’ll find herself at the top of the gossip column yet again.

Unless…

Plagued by a curse that will soon claim his life, the human-hating King Elliot will do anything to save himself. And if Gemma can use that to her advantage, she might be able to bargain her way to freedom. All she has to do is help him break his curse.

There’s just one hitch—to do so, they’ll have to trick someone into falling in love with the beastly, brooding Elliot.

With a devious alliance made, their scheme begins, bringing Gemma and Elliot into very close quarters. Soon, an unexpected desire stirs where once there was only hate. But Gemma must fight it. For when the curse is broken, Elliot will return to his true form—a wolf—and be lost to her for good.

Can Gemma sacrifice her budding feelings to save the king’s life? Or will love force her to give up something even greater…her heart?

ACOTAR meets Bridgerton in this standalone fairytale retelling of Beauty and the Beast. If you like slow burn romance, wolf shifters, and brooding fae royals, then you’ll love this swoon-worthy story in the Entangled with Fae series.

*NOTE this book is upper YA/NA featuring mature situations and some adult language. The romance is slow burn but leads to moderate steam.

Curse of the Wolf King is a complete stand-alone novel set in the same world as The Fair Isle Trilogy. Journey back to Faerwyvae or begin your adventure for the first time with this enchanting tale. Each book in the Entangled with Fae series can be read on its own and in any order. Happily ever after guaranteed!

Review:
Firstly, fairy tale retelling so obviously I needed to read it. I really enjoyed the development of the characters and the way in which trauma is shown. Trauma impacts people far more than most leg on, and honestly, considering that, Gemma is quite well adjusted. I absolutely loved seeing the development of Gemma’s relationships with those in Elliot’s court, but I did think that it was quite obvious what was going to happen. Despite knowing that, it was still quite an enjoyable read. I absolutely adored seeing how Elliot changed and grew throughout the book.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Maid and Minstrel by Kate Stradling

Synopsis:
Rosalind always shared her birthday with her father’s horses, but she never expected to share their fate.

Sheltered and pampered, beautiful Rosalind of Lovana turns eighteen with fluttering excitement. Nobles and dignitaries across the land are to celebrate with her—including young King Philip of Mallinae, whom she secretly adores.

But instead of a party, she descends to an auction where she is the prize up for bid. Incensed, she ridicules the guests, slinging a willfully hurtful barb at Philip in their midst.

Her father, enraged to have his moneymaking schemes thus ruined, delivers a seething ultimatum: Rosalind must marry a beggar that very night, or she dies.

This novella is based on “King Thrushbeard” by the Brothers Grimm.

Review:
This was short, simple, sweet, and very adorable. I quite enjoyed the growth of all the main characters throughout, and how much they come to care for and respect each other because of their mutual desire to not see the other live a bad life. Very sweet, cute, and definitely recommend. It didn’t have a terrible amount of depth, but it was nice to have a heroine willing to step in and make herself and those who were willing to stick themselves out for her safe and try to keep them healthy.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of A Dreadful Splendour by B. R. Myers

Synopsis:
Be careful what you conjure…

In Victorian London, Genevieve Timmons poses as a spiritualist to swindle wealthy mourners—until one misstep lands her in a jail cell awaiting the noose. Then a stranger arrives to make her a peculiar offer. The lord he serves, Mr. Pemberton, has been inconsolable since the tragic death of his beautiful bride-to-be. If Genevieve can perform a séance persuasive enough to bring the young lord peace, she will win her freedom.

Soothing a grieving nobleman should be easy for someone of Genevieve’s skill, but when she arrives at the grand Somerset Park estate, Mr. Pemberton is not the heartbroken lover she expected. The surly—yet exceedingly handsome—gentleman is certain that his fiancée was murdered, even though there is no evidence. Only a confession can bring justice now, and Mr. Pemberton decides Genevieve will help him get it. With his knowledge of the household and her talent for illusion, they can stage a haunting so convincing it will coax the killer into the light. However, when frightful incidents befall the manor, Genevieve realizes her tricks aren’t required after all. She may be a fake, but Somerset’s ghost could be all too real…

A Dreadful Splendor is delicious brew of mystery, spooky thrills, and intoxicating romance that makes for a ghoulishly fun and page-turning read.

Review:
Oh my GOSH! This book had me enraptured from the very start. Victorian? Check. Spiritualist/Medium/ghosts? Check. Unexpected twists and turns from every direction? Check. There were several times I thought I’d figured out a bit of what was going on in the past from how people were acting towards Genevieve and their feelings about the bride to be, and just when I would think I had things all sorted out: revelation from the ghost herself! I, like Genevieve, kept thinking that this had to be some sort of weird peculiarity, with ghosts and such odd happenings. I didn’t see the ending coming, though there was never a point in time where I felt disconnected or as if what was happening wouldn’t have/didn’t make sense. Everyone has their motives, desires, and so forth, and as Genevieve’s maman would say, sometimes you need to let the heart fill in the rest. Absolutely adored Mr. Pemberton, and quite loved Genevieve. If you’re into Victorian fiction, Jane Austen but with a mystery twist… ah… this book is just perfection in so many ways. There was one point where I literally had to stop at a twist and just said, aloud, “WHAT?!” Cannot recommend this enough. Couldn’t put it down, and am still so sad that I finished it already.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of The Little Black Dress by Piper James

Synopsis:
Never underestimate the power of a little black dress. Especially one as lucky as mine.

Every time I’ve worn my favorite black dress, something good has happened. I’ve talked my way out of speeding tickets––and into a date with the cute cop––and I’ve found money on the ground, won cool prizes on the Las Vegas strip, and even got a cushy job with an even cushier paycheck.

It’s my lucky dress, and in it, I can’t lose.

Until I did.

Thanks to an enthusiastic bidder at an art auction, the dress failed me when I needed it most. I disappointed my boss and got fired, even though it wasn’t my fault. It was his. The man who writes thirty-five million dollar checks for ugly, ridiculous paintings.

Now, I’m unemployed, broke, and incredibly close to losing the life I’ve built for myself. When I score a job as an assistant to a billionaire casino owner, I’m over-the-moon happy. Hoping there’s still some luck left in my little black dress, I wear it on my first day to meet my new boss…

Jared Hart. Owner and operator of The Black Hart Casino.

And the insufferable, grumpy, gorgeous jerk who got me fired in the first place.

I want to tell him to take his job and shove it, but I need the money. Plus, being his assistant might give me an opportunity to exact a little payback.

Game on, sir.

Oh, and I’m setting that dress on fire the first chance I get. Its luck has obviously run out.

The Little Black Dress is a steamy romantic comedy with enemies who turn into lovers, lots of laughs, stellar friendships, and it brings all the heat. You might want to keep a fan nearby while you’re reading.

Review:
This book was absolute perfection. The characters were well fleshed out, and it flowed very well. There was never a point where I wanted to set the book down. It was an amazing grumpy/sunshine enemies to lovers style book and I highly recommend it. It had a very slow build up but it was done right; the tension was there, the stakes clearly outlined. Seeing these two get to now each other and find if there is something more than meets the eye was a treat. Highly recommend!

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of The Scourge of God by S. M. Stirling

Synopsis:
 Rudi Mackenzie—son and heir of the High Priestess Juniper Mackenzie and the Bear Lord Michael Havel—continues his trek across the land that was once the United States of America. His destination: Nantucket, where he hopes to learn the truth behind the Change, which rendered technology across the globe inoperable.
           
During his travels, Rudi forges ties with new allies in the continuing war against the Prophet. Presiding over his flock, the Prophet teaches his followers that God has punished humanity by destroying technological civilization, and that they must continue to destroy any technology they come across—along with those who dare use it.
           
But one fanatical officer in the Sword of the Prophet has an even greater mission: to stop Rudi from reaching Nantucket by any means necessary.

Review:
This has honestly been my favourite of all the Emberverse books thus far and I am greatly looking forward to reading more, and not just because of Stirling’s inability to end in anything but a cliffhanger. I quite enjoyed the way this story in particular turned into an epic fantasy/adventure. It was interesting to see how so many different groups of people and “lands” got on after the change and how gracious and understanding Rudi tried to be towards each different faction he came into contact with. I could understand some being upset that Rudi does always seem to defy the odds in every situation but part of what I really enjoyed in this book was that there were real stakes; things weren’t always fine and there were many very serious moments. I did feel that Juniper was very much untouchable and nothing bad ever happened to her, but there were so many mentions in previous books of Juniper and Havel both having the gift of finding the right things and inspiring leadership, that I actually quite enjoy seeing Rudi work to keep himself level and balanced like Juniper always appears, while still facing a harsh world.

I quite enjoyed how every character had a special part to play in this particular novel and that we got a bit more understanding of people’s motives and motivations. While sometimes it’s hard to take Rudi’s group seriously due to how they perceive the change (and the things we use in a modern world and fully take for granted) it is amusing how easy it is to get away from all that we’ve built modern lives and societies around by just… not having it. In some ways I think that would be quite interesting to be in this world; in others, I think many of us have spent a very long time, as Red Leaf mentions, in school, and what a pity it would be to just have that go to waste!

I definitely look forward to continuing our trek!

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of The Wolf Gate by Hanna Sandvig

Synopsis:
My…what big teeth you have…

Have you ever wondered if something was up with your boyfriend? Distant. Moody. Never texts you back. Turns into a wolf at nightfall?

No, just me?

When a wolf chased me through a faerie portal in the forest, the last person I expected to see on the other side was my ex-boyfriend Gavin. Turns out, he’s a fae, and everything I thought I knew about him was a lie. Now we’re on the run from his Alpha, the minion of the Unseelie Queen, through the mountains and forests of Faerie.

But our deadly pursuers may be the least of my worries.

Because the longer I stay in Faerie with Gavin, the harder it is to remember why I’m so mad. I can feel my defenses crumbling, but how can I give him another chance when he’s proven he can break my heart? Am I strong enough to discover if this is true love? And will I survive long enough to find out?

**This action packed sweet romance is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood and is a stand-alone novella in the Faerie Tale Romances series. If you love fae, shifters, fairy-tale magic, and believe in second chances at love, dive into The Wolf Gate now!**

Review:
I quite enjoyed this story, and find the tie together of the human world and the fae expertly done/continued by Sandvig. Audrey is relatable and so it the situation she finds herself in with a boy.

I really liked Audrey, and I’m glad that she used her skills to adjust and make a stand in a faerie tale world she didn’t know of, but I do not like, at all, the ending we are given. Perhaps there will be more to come in the following book, but after how strong and amazing the ending of The Rose Gate the end of this was lackluster seemed to just fall into the same realm of most other fairy tales; any thoughts, plans, and dreams can be put on hold for a relationship! Though the reason for her need to help is a good one, there really wasn’t any idea/plan stated on going back to what she had originally wanted/planned for.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯