Review of Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer

What happens when happily ever after…isn’t?

Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.

And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.

A romantic and charming story, this companion novel to Off the Page will make every reader believe in the fantastical power of fairy tales.

This book is amazing. There are so many questions that so many of us go through all the time; what is real and what is imaginary? It is so easy to end up enthralled in this book, and the characters have great depth and personality. I absolutely love how there is a book within a book; I hadn’t expected such beautiful illustrations and highly recommend you buy a paper version so you can truly experience this novel. This is a beautiful story that is unique and so expertly told that it may always slightly linger in the back of the reader’s mind. There are many questions brought up but not quite answered about what people may wish or think of you and how that can affect you, positively or negatively, as well as thinking of your wants but also how getting what you want would effect others in your life. At the end, I certainly hadn’t expected what happened, but was also left with so many questions and the burning need to know more that I immediately went online and bought the sequel. I cannot wait to read more of what happens Off the Page.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Married by Fate by Jenny Hickman

He’s a Prince bound by duty.
She’s his brother’s fae bride.
Until fate intervenes.

Lady Roisin knew her fate was to marry a human prince, helping to heal the rift between the humans and the fae. Luckily, she fell desperately in love with her betrothed, the dashing heir to the Vellanian throne, Prince Alrec. One day soon, she will be his queen. A day Roisin has been looking forward to for as long as she can remember.

As the king’s youngest son, Prince Caiman knew his fate was to live in his older brother Alrec’s shadow. One day soon, Alrec will be crowned king. A day Caiman has been dreading for as long as he can remember.

When tragedy strikes the kingdom, Caiman is forced to ascend to the throne in his brother’s stead. But becoming King of Vellana means upholding the alliance with the fae by marrying his brother’s betrothed. And marrying a woman who has despised him for years cannot end in happily-ever-after . . .

Married by Fate is book 2 in the Arranged Marriages of the Fae, a multi-author collaboration of stand-alone novels.

From the review, I had thought I would like this. There was mention of enemies to lovers, and that sounded intriguing, but this wasn’t that. Roisin was unlikeable. From her perspective there were things she didn’t like or condone but she never once stepped up to stop them. She blindly listened to anything Alrec told her, and followed along with whatever her “lady-in-waiting” Lowri did. We began to see a different side of Roisin when she managed to get off by herself for a few moments, but she still went along with anything Alrec or Lowri said in public. Caiman was shown to be sensible, though perhaps not too sensible since he’d always been in love with Roisin. That being said, I thought towards the end that the story had managed to show some growth and fixed misunderstandings, until a past action of Caiman’s leaves Lowri completely ignoring him until a couple of chapters before the end- in which big things happen and everything is magically fixed between Caiman and Lowri all in a very short period of time that seemed rather rushed.

If I hadn’t already read Married by Scandal and this had been the first in this series I’d read, I certainly wouldn’t have continued to read more in the series.

Star rating: ✯✯✯

Review of The King’s Shadow: Magiford Supernatural City by K. M. Shea

I just spent the last month pretending to be the pet cat of an elf king. Today, I discovered we’re enemies.

In a supernatural society filled with vampires, werewolves, and wizards, I’ve always been an outcast with my ability to turn into a housecat. No one knew what I was.

Turns out, I’m a shadow—a race of supernaturals that were wiped out by the elves centuries ago.

Who explains this to me? Noctus, the elf king I’ve been staying with while pretending to be his pet “cat,” not knowing I’m the archenemy of his people. Talk about the most awkward ancestry results ever.

Now I’m stuck staying with Noctus because he can’t let me go thanks to all of his secrets I unwillingly learned as a cat. At least he hasn’t killed me. Yet.

If that isn’t bad enough, I’m being tracked by a creep obsessed with killing me because I’m a shadow, and he doesn’t mind doling out collateral damage during the hunt.

So I’ve got a mysterious elf king holding me captive in his hidden home, a slew of new powers to learn with my revealed ancestry, and a psychopath on my tail. Wow, things are looking up.

It’s time to find out if cats really do always land on their paws.

King’s Shadow is the second book in the Gate of Myth and Power urban fantasy trilogy, and is part of the Magiford Supernatural City world. It is an adventure-filled and hilarious take on the Hades and Persephone myth, with a twist of mystery. It’s packed with humor, battles, and a sweet, slow burn romance between an outcast magic user and the deadly king of the elves.

This book was amazing. We see Chloe work through her insecurities, thinking of how she was only liked because she was a cat. I absolutely loved the Beauty and the Beast feeling of this series, and I loved that Noctus wanted Chloe to feel secure in herself and her own abilities, and not just because she was with him. I definitely see the Hades and Persephone connection, and it makes me so sad that I must wait until March to see how this ends! Oh, K. M. Shea, how you pull my heartstrings so effortlessly, time and time again!!!

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of The King’s Captive: Magiford Supernatural City by K. M. Shea

I can turn into a housecat.

It’s a fun magic, except in a world filled with vampires and werewolves, it doesn’t exactly make me a powerhouse. Instead, the supernatural community has classified me as an outcast, which means one thing: picking on me is open season all day, every day.

The local fae are the worst of all, and it’s during one of their regular “capture the cat-girl” sessions that I shift into my cat form and meet HIM for the first time.

Noctus is so powerful his magic radiates off him like a sun, and my fae captors can barely look in his general direction. And then my life gets even more terrifying when Noctus decides to take me with him. As a pet.

Why did he pick today to “adopt don’t shop” a cat?

It gets worse when I realize he’s an elf, a ruling race of supernaturals that was supposedly killed off centuries ago.

But he’s not just any elf, no. He’s an elven king, with heaps of secrets to protect. Secrets that I am quickly learning since he includes his new pet in everything from breaking into buildings to inspect classified paperwork to tracking down sketchy supernaturals.

All this means if he gets even a hint that I’m not a real cat, I’m going to find out firsthand how elves treat their prisoners.

So, escaping Noctus is priority #1. How hard can it be? (Answer: very.)

King’s Captive is the first book in the Gate of Myth and Power urban fantasy trilogy, and is part of the Magiford Supernatural City world. It features elves, fae, werewolves, and vampires, and contains an adventure-filled and hilarious take on the Hades and Persephone myth. It’s packed with humor, battles, and a sweet, slow burn romance between an outcast magic user and the deadly king of the elves.

I wasn’t expecting I would love this book as much as I’ve loved all of K. M. Shea’s Magiford books, but this one drew me in like all of her other works, and I was hooked. I absolutely love how Chloe’s desires, fears, and misgivings stay constant throughout the novel. I love the budding tension between a pet cat and those around her. I was worried with Chloe being a free agent that it wouldn’t feel like we were in the same Magiford as the other series, but despite all of her own misgivings and anxiety, she is more than strong enough to keep the reader always wondering what happens next. I absolutely loved seeing the various sides of all of the characters, especially when they did unexpected things. I quite enjoyed seeing into Chloe’s mindset, and the obvious comical bits, and I especially love both when she has to try to communicate things while staying a cat and her “pet” French Fry! As per usual lately, I’m already most of the way through book two, so obviously I highly recommend this series, and K. M. Shea novels/series in general!

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Married by Scandal by Tessonja Odette

She’ll marry a prince if she must.
But fall in love?

The first time Amelie Fairfield fell in love, she started a war. Now, the part-human, part-fae fashion designer has sworn off romance to focus on her career. But when her name makes headlines in the worst possible way, there’s only one thing she can do to escape scandal—marry a human prince and make everyone forget about the career-killing rumors.

To solidify peace between the humans and fae, Prince Albert must take a fae bride. As sister to the fae queen, Amelie is the perfect candidate. If only she could say the same for the rakish prince she’ll have to marry. At least his devilish charm and good looks keep society fixated on him and not her.

But scandal becomes the least of Amelie’s worries when she embarks upon an engagement tour. She’ll need to convince the aristocracy that her arranged marriage is a true love match…without falling in love. Just when she thinks she has it all under control, the prince reveals a secret that suggests he might not be the man she thought. In fact, he might not be a prince at all…

Can Amelie juggle a world of fashion, unexpected espionage, and dating her not-so-fake fiancé? Or will her closed-off heart prove to be her biggest hurdle yet?

Married by Scandal is the third book in the Arranged Marriages of the Fae series, a multi-author collaboration of romantic fantasy stand-alone novellas, designed to be read independently. Together, they feature arranged marriages in fae fantasy and offer complete romances while also allowing the reader to enjoy a variety of tones and approaches. Perfect for romantic fantasy readers with busy lives who love swoony romance.

Married by Scandal is set in the same world as The Fair Isle Trilogy and the Entangled with Fae series. Journey back to Faerwyvae or start your adventure here for the first time!

The tension! The heat! This is certainly my favourite Amelie book! I wasn’t sure I’d like it as she isn’t my favourite character in The Fair Isle Trilogy by far but this surprised me. We got a deeper look at her and she got more than she had bargained for. This book… oh my goodness. Having Amelie face her trauma and learn to move past it, trust herself, let herself feel… it was just perfect. Loved how Amelie continued to be more than a pretty face, and it was refreshing to understand WHY she wanted to be accepted so badly by humans, and of course… her not-so-fake fiance- definitely made this a must read! I absolutely love all of the fancy events that Amelie attends to show off her outfits, and how obviously based on human things they are, especially the conversation between she and her “prince” at the races! Absolutely adored this one!

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of To Spark a Fae War by Tessonja Odette

No one dreams of starting a war.
But without a fight there can be no revolution…

I used to protect lives. Now I’ve ended more than I’ve saved. But after being betrayed by the humans I trusted, I have no choice but to fight.

And the battle has begun.

With the truth of my fae heritage exposed, the line between friend and foe is blurred. The human and fae councils are out for blood and will stop at nothing until I, my mate, and my rebel allies are defeated.

If we lose the war, everything I’m fighting for—love, freedom, the fae I’ve sworn to protect—will be destroyed. At least there’s one thing my enemies have underestimated…


To Spark a Fae War is a romantic fantasy perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince, ACOTAR, and Kingdom of the Wicked. If you like snarky fae, brooding royals, sizzling romance, and fierce heroines, you’ll love this thrilling tale.

*NOTE: This series is Upper YA/NA and contains sexual situations, moderate steam, and some violence and gore.

To Spark a Fae War is the final book in The Fair Isle Trilogy. Start with book one, To Carve a Fae Heart, and continue with book two, To Wear a Fae CrownThe Fair Isle Trilogy is set in the same world as the Entangled with Fae series and takes place twenty years earlier.

This book tied up all the loose ends! There were a few twists and turns that I didn’t expect, but it lacked the spark that the first one had. I find I much preferred the Entangled with Fae series by the same author, but that may be why I was unable to fully focus on this series as I tried to remember things from future books(The Entangled with Fae series) and who it might relate to that I was seeing in this series.

It WAS good to have Evelyn finally remember her head and to use her mind instead of allowing herself to become easily overwhelmed with “this is all my fault”. I do like that Odette’s characters do not merely forget or forgive what’s happened instantly, however there are some cases where the need for revenge seemed to outsource anything remotely sensible. The amount of times that Evelyn decides to go off on her own without cluing in Aspen make it hard to trust they have the type of amazing bond that makes them such a special couple. That being said, they do work to have all their limited time together count. The ending was sweet and not quite what I expected. All in all, the first book was the standout of the three, and I much prefer the one book retellings of Entangled with Fae she released later.

Edit: January, 11, 2023- Forgot to mention; anyone surprised that someone named Evelyn with the nickname Evie turned into a fox? I sure wasn’t!

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯

Review of To Wear a Fae Crown by Tessonja Odette

Every young woman dreams of wearing a crown.
But never a fae crown.
Because the crowns of fae are forged with blood.

Being the forced bride of a fae king was supposed to be torture. King Aspen was supposed to be my enemy.

But I was wrong about him. So wrong I think I might be in love with him.

With our wedding just three days away, we are closer than ever to securing the treaty between the humans and fae. But when my past becomes grounds for invalidating our alliance, war looms yet again.

I’m the only one who can save the Fair Isle. To do so, I must give up the man I love. Return to the human realm. Face death.

I swore I’d do anything to save my people. But who are my people? The answer should be easy. The humans. There’s just one problem.

I might not be human after all…

To Wear a Fae Crown is a romantic fantasy, perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince, ACOTAR, and Kingdom of the Wicked. If you like snarky fae, brooding royals, sizzling romance, and fierce heroines, you’ll love this breathtaking fae fantasy.

*NOTE: This series is Upper YA/NA and contains sexual situations, moderate steam, and some violence.

To Wear a Fae Crown is the second book in The Fair Isle Trilogy. Finish this epic fantasy tale with book three, To Spark a Fae WarThe Fair Isle Trilogy is set in the same world as the Entangled with Fae series and takes place twenty years earlier.

Aspen and Evelyn are both so… unused to being in relationships and communicating that there are so many times that you think everything will fall apart and would be absolutely perfect if they just named spoke! This book was a quicker read than the first in the trilogy because I absolutely could not set it down. That being said, most of the tension in this book was from lack of communication and the classic desire of a protagonist to be a savior. Many times, no matter what she’s been advised to do, Evelyn insists that she is willing to sacrifice herself in order to save others, even despite being told multiple times that her life wouldn’t accomplish what she thought. Working around the angst, Evelyn manages to still go on a fairly impressive adventure, finding what is and isn’t worth fighting for, and that she does have a fair few allies.

I absolutely adored the way magic was described in chapter 5, “It is more about intent than it is about tangible action. All magic is.”

The difference between Seelie and Unseelie is contentious, so I quite liked the explanation of, “You don’t want your true nature suppressed or for your freedoms to be taken away. That’s what being unseelie means.”

That being said, looking forward to seeing how the third book in this trilogy ties everything together!

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯

Review of To Carve a Fae Heart by Tessonja Odette

Every young woman dreams of marrying a king.
Everyone except for me.
Because the king I am to wed has razor sharp fangs and a thirst for blood.

All my life I knew I’d come of age during the Hundred Year Reaping. According to the ridiculous treaty, two human girls are sent to the faelands as brides for the fearsome fae king and his devilish younger brother.

Not me. I was supposed to be safe. Two girls were chosen from my village already. But when they are executed for offending the king, my sister and I are sent in their place.

What a mess. Then again, maybe it’s not so bad. The younger brother I’m paired with doesn’t seem as monstrous as I’d expected. He’s delightfully handsome too. But nothing compares to the chilling, dangerous beauty of the fae king. And when my sister flees the castle and her terrifying husband-to-be, I’m left to marry him instead.

If I go through with this, I might not survive my wedding night. If I don’t, no one is safe, neither human nor fae. An ancient war will return, bringing devastation we haven’t seen in a thousand years. Can I sacrifice myself for the good of my people? Or will a dangerous desire be the death of me first?

If I don’t lose my heart, the king will certainly lose his. I’ll carve it out with an iron blade if I have to.

To Carve a Fae Heart is an enemies-to-lovers fantasy, perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince, ACOTAR, and Kingdom of the Wicked. If you like snarky fae, brooding royals, sizzling romance, and fierce heroines, you’ll love this breathtaking fae fantasy.

*NOTE: This series is Upper YA/NA and contains sexual situations, moderate steam, and some violence.

To Carve a Fae Heart is the first book in The Fair Isle Trilogy, set in the same world as the Entangled with Fae series. To Carve a Fae Heart takes place twenty years before the Entangled with Fae books. Journey back to Faerwyvae or start your adventure for the first time with this epic fantasy tale!

This book had me from the very first line. I absolutely adore that Tessonja Odette’s heroines/protagonists have lives, aspirations, goals, and not everything in their heads disappears the instant there is a chance of romance. This book is a perfect mesh of faerie tales and the duality of what you see from the outside of someone versus what they may be harbouring within. I absolutely loved how Evelyn is always at war between her head and her heart, there were a few times that she seemed to do things that she absolutely should have known better than. While I believe the couples have great tension, I do wish a certain royal explained better why he felt as he did. Sure, I can deduce that much, but clearly Evelyn couldn’t, so it would have been nice to have it spelled out.

Quite enjoy her differences between Seelie and Unseelie courts, and the explanation of the different powers different creatures have. Evelyn seemed to take up the sayings of the fae quite quickly, whereas as someone raised human, you would think she would have kept those instead, but that could be because of how immersed she quickly had to become in the fae. Evelyn’s narration is quirky, amusing, and fun and this book was entirely impossible to set down. Highly recommend, and have already finished the second book before writing this review (oops!)

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Happy New Year! 2022 Book Recommendations…

In 2022 I read/wrote book reviews for 73 books (that’s one down from last year)! Of course there are always a few stand out authors/series/books so of all the books I read my top recommendations would be:


A Dreadful Splendour by B.R. Myers
A Victorian spiritualist who made her way by swindling people ends up in jail. Her salvation is a stranger who asks her to help a grieving widow move on, except Mr. Pemberton doesn’t seem like the heartbroken man she was supposed to manipulate. He believes his fiancée had been murdered, and he wants her to help use her trickery to convince the murderer to confess. When odd happenings begin around the manor, they realize there may be more to the Somerset ghost than originally thought.

The Forgotten Book by Mechthild Gläser 
A forgotten book can hold such power! Emma finds a book that whatever she writes in comes true, but there are consequences. Unfortunately someone else has realized the power of the book, and she has to rely on the new boy with a sour face and rude disposition, Darcy de Winter, to help. A mixture of fairy tales meets Jane Austen, this story will suck you in and enrapture you.

The Raven Spell by Luanne G. Smith
Ian Cameron finds himself bludgeoned and almost killed, demanding answers from two witches, Edwina and Mary Blackwood with odd abilities. As their secrets are slowly unveiled, Edwina attempts to help Ian figure out his lost time and the investigative case he was on. As they search through London for a missing person, and a series of gruesome murders, they find clues that threaten the unshakeable bond of being a twin.

A Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
Elisabeth, a librarian who had been orphaned and raised by the library staff, is implicated in the crime of releasing the most dangerous magical book. The only choice she has is to go to Nathanial Thorn, even though as a sorcerer he should be her mortal enemy. Once with Thorn and his demon servant, Silas, she finds herself caught up in a centuries-old conspiracy, racing to keep the great libraries, and the world, from going up in smoke.


Helen Harper
Amazon PageWebsite
Originally recommended to me because of her Slouch Witch books, I found her writing style quite enjoyable, with mysteries that I often don’t quite figure out before the end. I quite enjoyed that series, so when I started reading The Firebrand series, I was surprised how much I absolutely adored her way of writing a quirky detective who doesn’t exactly listen to what she’s told, despite having been the best in class before being “demoted” to working with the supernatural squad. Very English, great descriptions of locations with The Firebrand taking place predominantly in London, England.

Tessonja Odette
Amazon PageWebsite
Having just started another one of her books, I can say I was drawn in from the first sentence. The depth of her characters and politics within her novels is quite endearing. Her retellings of fairy tales I’d long known and loved were refreshing and while they did have a connection, the story doesn’t merely follow the same path we already know, and there are certainly times when it seems that there will not be a happy ending. I ended up reading all of the books in the Entangled in Fae series and found that none of the characters were as I expected them to be, and their depth and uniqueness made them all the more enthralling to read about.

LJ Andrews
Amazon PageWebsite
Oh my goodness, she writes amazing fairy tale retellings mixed with Vikings. Once you start reading they are impossible to put down, and I binge read the entire series she’d done of The Broken Kingdoms (which starts with a Beauty and the Beast retelling) just to find the next one won’t be out until February 21st! Soon, I’ll get to continue! Her writing immediately draws you in and immerses you in the world, and her characters are both flawed but likeable. Her characters drastically change throughout the books and grow, making you feel as if you’re truly along for the experience.

K. M. Shea
Author PageWebsite
She writes some amazing fantasy books. I first got hooked on The Fairy Tale Enchantress books, but there hasn’t been a book of hers I’ve read that I haven’t loved. Her writing is refreshing and her plotlines interesting and you’re never quite sure what you might be getting yourself into. Also absolutely loved her Court of Midnight and Deception book series, and of course Pack of Dawn and Destiny!

Review of Phantom by Greer Rivers

A dark, modern, romantic retelling of the musical classic, Phantom of the Opera.
But this time, the man behind the mask won’t stop until she is his.

She is my muse, and I am her demon of music.

A year ago, I witnessed sweet Scarlett Day’s dark side. She’s been my obsession ever since.

I was content with being her secret. Content with protecting her from afar… until an enemy from my past sets his sights on her.

Our families have a deep history of hatred, and Scarlett is caught in the middle.

Meanwhile, her mind plays tricks on her. When a panic attack goes horribly wrong, I emerge from the shadows to save her.

Now that she’s mine, I can’t let her go.

I’ve mastered the darkness. She tempts me with her light.

But when my mask is gone, will she fear the monster underneath?

PHANTOM is a spicy story set in modern-day New Orleans and a complete STANDALONE in the Tattered Curtain series. Guaranteed HEA.

Author’s Note: All CWs/TWs can be found in the front of the book, the author’s website, or on Goodreads. Mature readers only.

I love the Phantom of the Opera. I have since I was 13 years old. I’ve liked a few retellings, but this, this blew me away! Firstly, the location and use of French was spot on and absolutely splendid. Rivers did an excellent job of describing an opera house, the costumes, the performances, and what goes into music as well as the musical connection between our phantom and ingenue. The characterizations and descriptions of them, ailments, and distinguishing features was perfect.

Wasn’t sure I’d be alright with the name change but it was spot on, especially the connection between Scarlett’s father’s nickname for her and a certain poser. Seeing how people who believe they have power will do anything and everything in their power to manipulate someone, both because of age and/or gaslighting and how hard it can be to see that and get away was really well written. Recognizing that what you thought you want may not be what actually makes your heart sing is a lesson that not many get until they’re in a position that they can no longer leave to go do whatever would have made them happy, so it was really interesting to see multiple people’s takes on that, and how someone supportive versus controlling reacts.

I loved how our two main characters call to each other, both darkness and light. This is certainly a very hot read, and I thought the spice was absolutely perfect. While their connection is instant, our ingenue can be quite dense and overtly naïve. I do think the characters grew quite a lot during the story, more our Phantom than Scarlett. While I likely wouldn’t want to encourage falling into this type of relationship, I can’t deny that I found this book to be absolute perfection, and may have cried when it was over because I wanted more.

This book was everything I wished POTO the musical gave you; the spice, the tension, the desire. I highly intend to read more of Greer Rivers’ novels, if this is any indication of how brilliant she is.

Edit to add (January 4, 2022): I love how perfectly morally grey our Phantom is, as well as what he means by she’ll sing only for him.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯