Review of Goldilocks and the Bear by Vivienne Savage

Goldilocks and the Bear: An Adult Fairytale Romance
Once Upon a Spell book 3
By Vivienne Savage

Star Rating: 
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling/Fantasy/Romance
Number of Pages: 272

Date Started: December 13, 2017
Date Finished: December 15, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
Lady Victoria hungers for excitement, but how can she find it while cloistered in her cousin’s castle? Encouraged to journey north to pursue an adventure of her own, an abandoned lodge seems as fine a place as any to stop for rest.

Ramsay is a shifter without a mate. Overwhelmed by the responsibilities of becoming his clan’s new Father Bear–and the female attention that comes with that title–he leaves on holiday to enjoy the peaceful, northern hunting lodge. Finding his bed occupied by a golden-haired beauty wasn’t part of the plan, but claiming her may be.

Review:
I was so disappointed in this novel. Not only are we jumped from Victoria’s status as untrained to suddenly capable, but the romance doesn’t build at all, and it’s almost as if it’s supposed to be desire at first sight.  While I didn’t think they were a poor fit, there was almost no time spent on a connection developing between them, unlike the previous two books in the series.

This story also had quite a bit more Aladdin in it (though with a twist) than Goldilocks. It was a good tale, but not as great as the other three I’ve previously read. I did enjoy learning more about Safiyya since I had previously read Savage’s version of Rumpelstiltskin before the beginning of this series.

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

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Review of Red and the Wolf: An Adult Fairytale Romance by Vivienne Savage

Red and the Wolf: An Adult Fairytale Romance
Once Upon a Spell book 2
By Vivienne Savage

Star Rating:  
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling/Fantasy/Romance
Number of Pages: 284

Date Started: December 13, 2017
Date Finished: December 13, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
Sorcha knows every inch of the forest, but a spontaneous visit to her grandmother thrusts her into the middle of a brutal conflict between shifters and an unknown force in the woodlands.

As the alpha of Clan TalWolthe, Conall is obligated to protect his fellow wolves at all costs–even if it means his life. After the pack lands in the crosshairs of a huntsman with a grudge, Conall encounters a red-cloaked beauty who may hold the key to defeating an ancient evil menacing their land.

Red and the Wolf is a fairy tale retold for an adult audience and improper for anyone below the age of 18. Readers who enjoy strong heroines, caring alphas, detailed world building, and out-of-this-world adventure will be hooked.

Perfect for readers of Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Action and Adventure, Sword and Sorcery, and Shifter Romance.

Review:
Oh my goodness, this book draws the reader in from the beginning and leaves you enthralled until the end. This isn’t your typical Red Riding Hood tale, but one with lots of twists and turns, and some very nice romance.

Red is a capable heroine who isn’t going to step back and let others do a job for her, which is admirable. While she is a bit more naive than the typical capable heroine, the explanation of her being coddled made sense, and it made some exchanges between she and Conall even more enjoyable.

While it is a romance novel, the romance adds to the story, and the plot is solid even without it.

This one was hard to set down. I definitely recommend it! Can’t wait to read book 3 in the series!

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 Vow of Deception by C. J. Archer

Vow of Deception
Ministry of Curiosities Book 9
By C. J. Archer

Star Rating: 
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Gaslamp Fantasy
Number of Pages: 308

Date Started: December 7, 2017
Date Finished: December 8, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
With the wedding only days away, the Ministry is thrown into turmoil when another murder is committed by a shape-shifter. But this time the newspapers make the connection to werewolves – and the Ministry. Suddenly the attention is focused on Lichfield Towers and its residents as the police investigate and parliament wants to shut the organization down. It could spell the end of everything Charlie has come to love. As the authorities close in and ministry secrets are exposed, past allies can no longer be trusted. Can Charlie save her home, her loved ones, and herself? Or will she lose Lincoln and her friends forever?

Review:
Oh. My. Goodness! So many enemies, so much intrigue, and far too perfect a conclusion that we’ve been waiting for so long to see. Alliances were tested, some broken, some strengthened. The near ending nastiness was not something I expected, but for karma–it was well deserved.

While I have been looking forward to this last installment, and getting to know if Lincoln and Charlie will ever get a happily ever after, I have to say I’m quite excited for a tenth book! I have many predictions of what might happen in Wonderland, but I am not sure if they’ll come true.

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:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CJArcherAuthorPage
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cj_archer
Tumblr: http://freakhouseresidents.tumblr.com
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Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cjarcher/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4615377.C_J_Archer

Review of A Tale of Beauty and Beast by Melanie Cellier

A Tale of Beauty and Beast: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast
Beyond the Four Kingdoms Book 2
By Melanie Cellier

Star Rating: 
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling
Number of Pages: 295

Date Started: December 1, 2017
Date Finished: December 6, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
Princess Sophia has helped her twin sister Lily save the duchy of Marin. But now Sophie faces an even greater threat when she sets out to free the cursed kingdom of Palinar from its beastly prince. Alone, and with danger on every side, Sophie must navigate a magical castle and its even more mysterious master to discover the secret to breaking the curse.

Except the more time she spends with Prince Dominic, the more she starts to question who exactly she’s supposed to be saving. With time running out for the trapped inhabitants, and the reappearance of an old enemy, Sophie may have to choose between saving the kingdom and following her heart.

In this reimagining of the classic fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast, Beauty will have to use all of her strength and intelligence if she is to outwit her enemies, break a curse and find true love.

Review:
The relationship between the Beast and Sophie slowly develops, and that’s probably one of my favourite parts of this book. In many retellings the beauty feels sorry for him, or suddenly has feelings for him without knowing him at all, so this was a pleasant change from that. I loved that in order for the curse to be broken, both needed to change and grow. While I was heartbroken with Sophie to be torn from Lily, it was great to see her learn to stand on her own.

I enjoyed that the various servants had names and personalities. My favourite was Gordon. Both of her maids and the stable master were also quite well done, and deeper than one would expect for a secondary character. The way Sophie treated the servants was a good insight into the type of person she is.

While this is a story the reader already knows, the ingenious twists and turns of the curse and the townspeople are unique and draw you in further. Unique enough that you can’t guess exactly what is going on, this is definitely a good read.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Melanie Cellier grew up on a staple diet of books, books and more books. And although she got older she never stopped loving children’s and young adult novels. She always wanted to write one herself but it took three careers and three different continents before she actually managed it.

She now feels incredibly fortunate to spend her time writing from her home in Canberra, Australia where they don’t have a beach but they do have kangaroos hopping down the streets. Her staple diet hasn’t changed much, although she’s added choc mint Rooibos tea and Chicken Crimpies to the list.

She is currently working on The Four Kingdoms, a series of young adult fairy tale retellings.

Visit Melanie at her website: http://www.melaniecellier.com or follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Melanie-Cellier-689002674569364/ for all the latest news on The Princess Companion and other upcoming Four Kingdoms stories.

Review of A Dance of Silver and Shadow by Melanie Cellier

A Dance of Silver and Shadow: A Retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses
Beyond the Four Kingdoms Book 1
By Melanie Cellier

Star Rating: 
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling
Number of Pages: 345

Date Started: November 30, 2017
Date Finished: December 1, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
When Princess Liliana and her twin sister set sail for new lands, Lily hopes to find adventure and romance. But the people of Marin live under the shadow of a curse–one powerful enough to destroy entire kingdoms. To protect them all, Lily and eleven other princesses are forced to participate in a mysterious and secret tournament.

Lily spends her nights competing in a magical underground realm and her days unraveling the dangers of this new court. Although she needs the help of the Marinese prince, Lily knows she can’t let herself grow too close to him. There’s no time for romance when the duchy is about to fall to the encroaching darkness and the winner of the tournament faces a terrible fate.

But Lily and her twin have a secret advantage. And Lily grows increasingly determined to use their magical bond to defeat the tournament, save the princesses, and free Marin. Except she might have to sacrifice true love to do it.

In this reimagining of the classic fairy tale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, there’s a lot more at stake than worn out dancing slippers.

Review:
What a creative and wonderful way of retelling a fairy tale! While there is the element of the story we know, it’s retold in an excellent style with characters that have depth and personality. From the beginning Lily and Sophie are easy to empathize with. The selflessness and caring shown by Lily and Sophie is endearing in heroines.

There are enough twists and turns to leave anyone guessing and wondering what might happen next. You may think you know The Twelve Dancing Princesses, but this is a fabulous retelling of the likes I’ve not seen before. Instead of a bare bones story, we’re met with political turmoil, descriptions and understandings of various lands and their workings, many different delegates and different types of personalities, and overall an amazing start to a series I look forward to reading in whole.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Melanie Cellier grew up on a staple diet of books, books and more books. And although she got older she never stopped loving children’s and young adult novels. She always wanted to write one herself but it took three careers and three different continents before she actually managed it.

She now feels incredibly fortunate to spend her time writing from her home in Canberra, Australia where they don’t have a beach but they do have kangaroos hopping down the streets. Her staple diet hasn’t changed much, although she’s added choc mint Rooibos tea and Chicken Crimpies to the list.

She is currently working on The Four Kingdoms, a series of young adult fairy tale retellings.

Visit Melanie at her website: http://www.melaniecellier.com or follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Melanie-Cellier-689002674569364/ for all the latest news on The Princess Companion and other upcoming Four Kingdoms stories.

Review of Last Wish by Helen Harper

Last Wish
Highland Magic Book 4
By Helen Harper

Star Rating: 
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Number of Pages: 314

Date Started: November 28, 2017
Date Finished: November 30, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
It’s not easy pretending to be dead – especially when it feels as if you have the weight of the world on your shoulders. Between an unfulfilled prophecy, the demon-occupied Lowlands, the continuing power of murderous Aifric Moncrieffe – not to mention her constant yearnings for Byron – Integrity Adair has a lot to worry about. Still, how hard can it really be to save Scotland, maintain her morals, get the guy and keep her sense of humour?

Review:
There were many twists and turns I didn’t necessarily expect, and it was overall a great ending to the series. There were several things I had picked up on that Integrity hadn’t, but that didn’t detract from the story at all. I thought that the way to save Scotland was almost too easy– something I’d pieced together from the previous book, though it made sense. In the end I still had many questions, such as, if the Fissure was only created about 300 years ago, how did the Fomori live before that? While this might remain puzzling, it didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of this novel or series as a whole.

The villain turned out to be far more heinous than expected, which was somewhat sad because it turned him into more of a stock character than he needed to be. It would have been nicer for him to have some redeeming qualities.

I wish that Sorley and the trolls had a larger role in this novel and that we heard more about them. The connections between other clans were powerful, and the ending was a perfect send off for the series, mostly thanks to Bob.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
After teaching English literature in the UK, Japan and Malaysia, Helen Harper left behind the world of education following the worldwide success of her Blood Destiny series of books. She is a professional member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and writes full time, thanking her lucky stars every day that’s she lucky enough to do so!

Helen has always been a book lover, devouring science fiction and fantasy tales when she was a child growing up in Scotland.

She currently lives in Devon in the UK with far too many cats – not to mention the dragons, fairies, demons, wizards and vampires that seem to keep appearing from nowhere.

Review of Veiled Threat by Helen Harper

Veiled Threat
Highland Magic Book 3
By Helen Harper

Star Rating: 
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Number of Pages: 244

Date Started: November 26, 2017
Date Finished: November 28, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
Integrity Taylor has regained possession of her ancestral lands – and inherited a whole host of new problems. The spectre of what really happened to her parents is casting a shadow over everything while Fomori demons are being sighted up and down the Highlands. It doesn’t help that Aifric Moncrieffe still seems determined to see her dead and emerald eyed Byron remains stubbornly blind to his father’s true nature.

Integrity is determined to stay in control of her own destiny, however, even if it means confronting the darkness across the Veil yet again. And at least she’s still got a sense of humour…

Review:
Integrity continues to try to learn about her ancestors but always keeps her personality about her. While her joking might be annoying to those around her, I found it endearing that no matter the situation, her sense of humor remains.

While many keep speaking of a prophesy, it’s obvious that those around her understand that Integrity cares about the clanless and that she’s willing to help anyone who asks. Though she seems surprised that so many are willing to abandon their lives to be with her, it makes sense that those who were otherwise unprotected would want help from someone who understands their plight and has lived like they have.

Despite the heartache and distrust, this is an intriguing continuation of Integrity’s story, and a great set up for the end novel.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
After teaching English literature in the UK, Japan and Malaysia, Helen Harper left behind the world of education following the worldwide success of her Blood Destiny series of books. She is a professional member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and writes full time, thanking her lucky stars every day that’s she lucky enough to do so!

Helen has always been a book lover, devouring science fiction and fantasy tales when she was a child growing up in Scotland.

She currently lives in Devon in the UK with far too many cats – not to mention the dragons, fairies, demons, wizards and vampires that seem to keep appearing from nowhere.