Review of The Beggar Princess by Lidiya Foxglove

The Beggar Princess
Fairy Tale Heat Book 4
By Lidiya Foxglove

Star Rating: 
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling, Romance
Number of Pages: 154

Started: August 28, 2017
Finished: August 29, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
“You will marry the very next man who walks in that door.”

As the only princess of a prosperous kingdom, I have wanted for nothing—and refused all suitors. What real man is worthy of my interest, when I secretly pen tales of handsome lords and beautiful brooding counts? But now my father has gathered up every eligible royal bachelor in all the realm. And it’s just as I suspected, not one to capture my fancy—especially King Brennus of the Wood Elves, who looks like a bandit and has the accent of a man born in a barn. I’d rather be on my own forever. I refuse them all. The last thing I expected was for my mild-mannered father to insist, in a fit of anger, that I marry the next man who walks in the door, even if he’s a peasant…and what do you know?

“No, lass. I won’t let you starve. But you won’t exactly be free either. And just remember, any time you like, you can stop me. All you have to do is work or beg.”

My new husband looks like a laborer and lives in a little cabin in the forest, but something tells me he’s not what he seems. He says he means to teach me humility in the form of honest work, making stew and scrubbing floors. But somehow or other, he knows all my secrets, all the deepest desires of my heart, and there is no one in the forest to hear me beg him for mercy…except the wolvenfolk who howl in the forest at night. They haven’t made any trouble in fifty years, but when the wolves are at the door, I don’t know if a peasant can save me…

The Beggar Princess is a retelling of the Brothers Grimm’s King Thrushbeard, a standalone fairy tale romance for those who like unabashedly adorable happily ever afters with a side of serious steaminess!

Review:
This book is great. You see a princess who has desires outside the norm, but that doesn’t stop her from being too spoiled and pampered. While I quite loved seeing her new husband attempt to teach her humility, I thought that while he might be playing into what he knew her deep desires were, she was far too… eager, and quick to admit love and need to serve him. Despite that, or perhaps because of that, she does try to become more humble, attempting to do what he had asked.

While she does actually do all the work he had hoped she might gain some perspective from and then some in the end, I couldn’t help but hope that something else might have happened. I did like the story overall, but I would have really enjoyed seeing our heroine in her new role at the end.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Lidiya Foxglove likes her fairy tales to be very naughty indeed. She grew up on a steady diet of fairy tales, folklore and fantasy and loves the swoon-worthy romance and happily ever afters, but thinks the best fairy tales also have the thrill of forbidden desires. If she’s not writing, she’s probably reading. Come hang out with her on Facebook at:
https://www.facebook.com/Lidiya-Foxglove-1702249670069437/
Contact: lidiyafoxglove@lidiyafoxglove.com

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Review of Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard

Strange and Ever After
Something Strange and Deadly Book 3
By Susan Dennard

Star Rating:  
Genre: Young Adult Steampunk
Number of Pages: 400
Summer 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
It has been a tumultuous time for Eleanor Fitt since life as she knew it in Philadelphia came abruptly to an end. Although the Spirit-Hunters—Joseph, Jie, and Daniel—have helped her survive, Eleanor has lost just about everything.

And now, Jie is missing—taken by the evil necromancer Marcus. Eleanor is determined not only to get her back but to finally end this nightmare. To do so, she must navigate the hot desert streets of nineteenth-century Egypt amid the rising Dead, her unresolved feelings for Daniel, and her volatile relationships with Joseph and Oliver, her demon. And it won’t be easy. Because Allison, her friend from Philadelphia, has tagged along, becoming strangely entangled in Eleanor’s mission.

It will take all of Eleanor’s powers of black magic, and all of Daniel’s and Joseph’s trust, to succeed. But there will be a price.

Review:
How do you continue forward when you feel like you have nothing, and no one trusts you? Eleanor has no choice but to try doing just that. Relying on instincts is never a horrible idea, as she learns perhaps too late. In order to defeat Marcus, there are many twists and turns and the cost of success is astronomical.

This book was amazing, and I quite enjoyed the ending, even though I had somewhat suspected something similar might occur. Eleanor went on quite the journey, and she grew comfortable with herself, which is all any of us can hope for in life, really.

 

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Susan Dennard has come a long way from small-town Georgia. With a masters degree in marine biology, she got to travel the world—six out of seven continents, to be exact (she’ll get to Asia one of these days!)—before she settled down as a full-time novelist and writing instructor.

She is the author of the Something Strange and Deadly series (from HarperTeen) as well as the forthcoming Witchlands Series (Tor, 2015). When not writing, she can be found hiking with her dogs, exploring tidal pools, or earning bruises at the dojo.

Review of Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins

Spell Bound
Hex Hall 3
By Rachel Hawkins

Star Rating: 
Genre: Young Adult/Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Number of Pages: 337
Summer 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident. Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?

Review:
This book I both looked forward to and dreaded. I very much hate the end of a series, don’t you?

While Sophie did grow quite a bit throughout the series, in the end I was disappointed by what happened to some of her allies (one in particular) even though I had thought what would happen was rather obvious from the beginning.

I am quite pleased with the ending of the series, though I am sure that I, like many others, would love to see what happens to Sophie beyond the scope of the series.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Rachel Hawkins (www.rachel-hawkins.com) was a high school English teacher before becoming a full-time writer. She lives with her family in Alabama. To the best of her knowledge, Rachel is not a witch, though some of her former students may disagree….

Review of Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

Demonglass
Hex Hall 2
By Rachel Hawkins

Star Rating:  
Genre: Young Adult/Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Number of Pages: 365
Summer 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Review:
There’s nothing left for Sophie to do but take away her power. But, her father warns, it will change who you are. As she spends time getting to know her dad and understanding where she fits into the world, she has to take into consideration what is best for everyone. Loyalties are tested, and ultimately she has to decide who she believes she can trust.

Great book, just as gripping and fast paced as the first.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Rachel Hawkins (www.rachel-hawkins.com) was a high school English teacher before becoming a full-time writer. She lives with her family in Alabama. To the best of her knowledge, Rachel is not a witch, though some of her former students may disagree….

Review of Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Hex Hall
Hex Hall 1
By Rachel Hawkins

Star Rating:  
Genre: Young Adult/Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Number of Pages: 337
Summer 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father—an elusive European warlock—only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

Review:
I’d been looking at this book for quite some time when I finally picked up a copy and I have to say I was so very glad I did.

There is so much that Sophie doesn’t know about the supernatural world. Knowing essentially nothing about both herself and her father, she is thrust into a land with people who have always known what they were. As she tries to navigate the depth of which she’d fallen into, she realizes that there might be more going on than she was warned about.

The characters are quirky and irresistible, and while Sophie’s left to figure out everything in the magical world she’s been completely kept from, you get to go on an amazing journey alongside her.

Loved this story! If you love supernatural and don’t mind some romance, this is definitely the book for you!

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Rachel Hawkins (www.rachel-hawkins.com) was a high school English teacher before becoming a full-time writer. She lives with her family in Alabama. To the best of her knowledge, Rachel is not a witch, though some of her former students may disagree….

Review of Beauty and the Beast: An Adult Fairytale Romance by Vivienne Savage

Beauty and the Beast: An Adult Fairytale Romance
Once Upon a Spell book 1
By Vivienne Savage

Star Rating:  
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling/Fantasy
Number of Pages: 270
Summer 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
Princess Anastasia Rose dreams of attending school, but her plans are put on hold when war begins between her father and the beastly lord of a nearby castle in the mountains.

Prince Alistair isn’t an ordinary dragon. He’s a shifter afflicted by a curse, unable to become human again until he finds his true love. When a mortal king’s adventurers trespass in Alistair’s territory to steal a rare flower, the prince decides to steal a valuable prize of his own.

Undertake a magical journey in Vivienne Savage’s new romantic fantasy series loosely based on the lore of multiple fairy tales. Meet strong heroines supported by a cast of sexy heroes, intriguing friends, and devious villains.

Author’s Note: This is a magical retelling of the beloved tale written for an adult audience. Reader discretion is advised.

Review:
Finally, a princess who has desires beyond living in a castle, finding love and becoming a queen. Savage does an amazing job of personifying Anastasia, giving her reasons for loving books so much beyond enjoying stories. There is so much more to this novel than the Beauty and the Beast story we all know and love.

I greatly enjoy how all of the characters have an important role and how they come together in the end, revealing truths only hinted at. Alistair is such a relatable, wonderful character– great for those who are hot headed and perhaps needing to learn to control their temper.

While this book specifically states it’s listed as an adult novel, there are really only two “steamy” scenes, and while decent, no where near as heavy as might be suggested.

Splendid book. I absolutely loved it!

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Vivienne Savage is a resident of a small town in rural Texas. While she isn’t writing fantasy or concocting ways for shapeshifters and humans to find their match, she raises two children and works as a nurse in a rural retirement home.

All works by Vivienne range from urban fantasy and sweet adult romance to spicy shifter fiction with an erotic kick. Visit her site to determine which series is best for you!

Official Site: viviennesavage.com
Facebook: facebook.com/savage.books
Twitter: twitter.com/msvsavage
Instagram: instagram.com/msvsavage
Email: vivi@viviennesavage.com

Review of Her Secret Desire by C. J. Archer

Her Secret Desire
Lord Hawkesbury’s Players Book 1
By C. J. Archer

Star Rating: 
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Historical Romance
Number of Pages: 316
Summer 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)

Prepare for a romp through Elizabethan England, where finding love is written in the stars…

Comely, courageous Minerva “Min” Peabody, a poor but passionate playwright, is determined to make her mark. Ill-fated to live in Elizabethan England, when women—deemed the inferior sex—most assuredly did not write plays, Min will prevail. With her finished play in hand, she implores Roger Style, a local theatre manager in London, to read it. Though desperate in his own right—due to a string of commercial failures—all Style sees before him is a woman playwright, and refuses to even look at her work.

On impulse, Min changes her story, claiming the play was written by the man standing across the street, and secures the manager’s agreement to review it. But her choice of surrogate, Robert “Blake” Blakewell, promises to be a mixed blessing indeed. Blake, a handsome blue-eyed sea captain with his own agenda, is a man with a mysterious past, a pair of breathtaking shoulders, and an irresistible aura of intrigue. Though he agrees to her outlandish proposal, she has to wonder, as she gets lost in his eyes, what in the world she’s gotten herself into.

Blake’s own mission? To ferret out the cad in Roger Style’s theatre company responsible for getting his sister with child. And when that objective threatens to derail Min’s nascent career, his dilemma is a daunting one: protect either his family’s honor or the woman who’s slowly but surely softening his heart and winning his love.

Funny, fast-paced, and with a deliciously dark edge, Her Secret Desire speaks to any woman who’s ever had to fight for her dreams in a world that just won’t take her seriously.

Review:
Too often is it easy to forget that jobs women now thoroughly enjoy and thrive doing had once been considered taboo. This book did an amazing job of showcasing what was expected of a woman, and how men were able to dictate exactly what a woman was allowed to do.

Min is a relatable heroine with worthy ambitions and goals. While she wants something unattainable her reasons for pushing so hard are admirable. Even in the face of complete ruin she is only willing to do what it takes to keep the ones she loves safe, even if it means sacrificing her own desires in the process.

C. J. Archer is such a great, wonderful person on top of being a great author.  She has a fan group on Facebook, CJ Archer’s Ministry of Fans, where people who like her books can talk about them, and Ms. Archer interacts with her fans frequently (which makes her even more endearing).  If you are like me and adore her books, join the group and chat with like minded individuals.

cj
Author Biography: (From Amazon)
C.J. Archer has loved history and books for as long as she can remember and feels fortunate that she found a way to combine the two. She has at various times worked as a librarian, IT support person and technical writer but in her heart has always been a fiction writer. While she has written historical romance in the past, she now writes exclusively in the historical fantasy genre (with a large dose of romance). She has several series which occur in the same Victorian-era “world”, one after the other. Each series can be read alone, but it’s more fun to start at the beginning with THE EMILY CHAMBERS SPIRIT MEDIUM TRILOGY. Follow that up with all 9 FREAK HOUSE books, then the MINISTRY OF CURIOSITIES series. GLASS AND STEELE, her newest series, is set in an entirely different alternate Victorian London.

Subscribe to C.J.’s newsletter to be notified when she releases a new book, as well as get access to exclusive content and subscriber-only giveaways. Join via her website: http://www.cjarcher.com

She loves to hear from readers. You can contact her through email cj@cjarcher.com or follow her on social media to get the latest updates on her books:
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