Review of The Book of G by Lily Archer

Villains don’t get happily ever afters, do they?

I have a glorious past full of achievement and renown. I mean, I feel like I must, right? The problem is, I can’t remember it. I can’t even remember my own name. I was found in a river, body mangled and face scarred, with nothing to identify me besides a single embroidered letter.

My memory is a murky blur, but I have a quest, one that will give me back everything I’ve lost. The voice in the water told me so. But the voice seemed to miss a few important highlights—namely the woman who challenges me at every twist and turn of my journey. The woman who tells me I’m a villain. The woman who becomes every fervent whisper of my heart, and every last thought in my head.

If I can complete my quest and recover what I’ve lost, she’ll see we’re meant to be. But villains don’t get happily ever afters, do they?

Lily’s Note: Sometimes falling from a great height can lead to a whole new life. This is a full-length standalone fantasy romance. Let your imagination run wild about who G is and just how wide his evil streak can be (hint: massive.)

Holy. Crap. I knew I liked morally grey, and enemies to lovers can be amazing, but this Beauty and the Beast retelling is one I never expected to find, and a “villain” I never thought I’d love and resonate with. While I did know who G was from the start, I absolutely fell headfirst into this story and was held captive. I didn’t want to put it down! The writing is concise, the world building on point. The spice was incredible and a 5/5 on that alone. There was never a point where I thought I had the ending figured out, and there were still surprises up to the very epilogue. In taking away G’s past, we’re left seeing why he might think of things the way he did: nature vs. nurture, as well as a general lack of education beyond being a manly man. I absolutely love that while he did grow as a person his quirks and flaws remained the same and became understood and almost endearing. The banter and tension in this book is absolutely perfect. All that being said, this book was amazing and I quite loved it, and strongly recommend it if you like: morally grey, enemies to lovers, Beauty and the Beast retellings, and a whole lot of spice.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of The House Witch 3 by Delemhach

House witch Finlay Ashowan is pulled out of the kitchen—and into the fire—as war, family, and love collide in the third book of this fantasy romance series.

Having somehow convinced Lady Annika Jenoure to marry him, all Finlay Ashowan wants to do is settle down, cook some good meals, and enjoy a quiet life in Daxaria. But fate has different plans.

Fin’s father, Aidan Helmer, fire witch and servant of King Matthias of Troivack, has arrived in the kingdom with devastating news: Annika’s brother Charles has been taken prisoner, and the only way his life will be spared is if Annika or Fin goes to plead his case. Given that an attack from Troivack is imminent, there’s no way some trickery isn’t involved in this plot.

Now it’s up to Fin, with the help of his family, friends, and wily kitten familiar, Kraken, to attempt a daring mission of rescue and espionage. But he’ll need to move quickly—because if he can’t find a way to fend off his father and keep Daxaria safe, all his dreams might go up in flames.

With twists and turns around every corner, The House Witch 3 brilliantly concludes this irresistible trilogy, replete with romance, magic, courtly intrigue, mystery, and humor.

Despite some sad parts, I would say that this book was an absolutely phenomenal end of Finlay’s adventures. Kraken shows that, just like Annika and Finlay, opposites can attract. His tenacity and ingenuity always leave one laughing and amused, though also thoroughly impressed. I absolutely adored seeing everyone come into themselves and realize that you don’t have to compromise yourself or your morals to be the best you can be. I also 100% love seeing Annika through this book, and the reminder that she is a very capable person, but that sometimes even hyper capable people end up being softened.

I love this series so much, and I cannot wait for the next two series, Princess of Potential and The Burning Witch. You can even join Delemhach’s Discord server.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of The House Witch 2 by Delemhach

House witch Finlay Ashowan must contend with matters of the heart, hearth, family, and kingdom in the second book of a whimsical and winning fantasy series.

As a wielder of domestic magic, Finlay Ashowan likes to keep his affairs as neat and orderly as his kitchen. But between his work for the King and Queen of Daxaria and a new (secret) relationship with Lady Annika Jenoure, his life is anything but tidy.

For one thing, if Annika and Fin are to continue their romance, they’ll need to sort out the pesky issue of Fin’s being a commoner—before Annika is forced into a political marriage that interferes with her own carefully laid plans.

For another, pressure is mounting as the war with Troivack draws ever closer. When Fin requests time away from the castle to rest, the King agrees but under a very particular condition: Fin must brave the streets of Austice as a spy, sleuthing out the plans of the Troivackian troops allegedly hidden there.

Further complicating things, Fin’s estranged father is on his way to Daxaria, an unexpected and unappreciated arrival that’s bound to wreak even more havoc in his son’s life.

As Fin forges new friendships and alliances—magical and non-magical alike—he becomes even more enmeshed in courtly intrigues, old feuds, and very personal problems. And the more he tries to clean up the various messes in his life, the more apparent it becomes that his troubles are only just beginning . . .

This book was absolutely everything I didn’t know I wanted and needed in a continuation of Fin’s story. Fin seems to get himself into quite a lot of trouble while managing to also work his way into good graces and freedom in most cases. The story is quite intriguing, and Fin just feels a bit like home. I believe most people can relate to him and would love this portion of his story because the journey was very much about what he can do and believe himself capable of outside of merely being a witch and having magical powers. Everyone goes through imposter syndrome at some point in life, and it’s good to see that when you learn to trust in yourself, things may work out better than you had dreamt.

A few quotes I absolutely adored regarding home and Fin are, “You found your own reason and strength to go after your fate. You didn’t let others push it upon you, or let it be taken away.” (Chapter 6, page 48) As well as Fin’s own thought that, “A true home gives people hope.” (Chapter 17, page 133) Of course, we cannot forget his quip that “Anything a mage can do, a witch can do better.”

At the time of posting this review I had already finished this book as well as the conclusion of the trilogy. I cannot wait to get both reviews out so I can get the next book by Delemhach, The Princess of Potential, but unfortunately it isn’t out until June 27th!!

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of The House Witch by Delemhach


A heartwarming and humorous blend of fantasy, romance, and mystery featuring a witch with domestic powers and the royal household he serves . . . dinner.

When Finlay Ashowan joins the staff of the King and Queen of Daxaria, he’s an enigma. No one knows where he comes from or how he came to be where he is, which suits Fin just fine. He’s satisfied simply serving as the royal cook, keeping nosy passersby out of his kitchen, and concocting some truly uncanny meals.

But Fin’s secret identity doesn’t stay hidden for long. After all, it’s not every day a house witch and his kitten familiar, Kraken, take to meddling in imperial affairs. As his powers are gradually discovered by the court, Fin finds himself involved in a slew of intrigues: going head-to-head with knights with less-than-chivalrous intentions, helping to protect the pregnant queen, fending off the ire of the royal mage, and uncovering a spy in the castle. And that’s only the beginning—because Fin’s past is catching up with him just as his love life is getting complicated . . .

Filled with fascinating characters, courtly intrigue, political machinations, delicious cuisines, cuddly companions, magical hijinks, and will-they-won’t-they romance, The House Witch is the first in a captivating new series, guaranteed to satisfy the tastes of any reader.

The first volume of the hit romantic-fantasy series—with more than a million views on Royal Road—now available on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, and Audible!

This book pick was a luck of numbers, where I asked my husband to pick a number and the number he picked was the one for this novel!

Fin is everything we didn’t realize we need in a character. He’s absolutely perfect, and from the beginning his distinct personality had me chortling. Fin is both sarcastic and incredibly defensive over the people he cares about. While he might be slow to open up, given his unique abilities, he finds himself making friends where he least expects it when they realize he just wants everyone to be respectful and caring. This book is cozy and wholesome; a story where people realize they are more than just what they appear to be on the outside and that everyone has the potential to greatness.

I absolutely adore the way the magic system in this world works. Magical people have an affinity, but how strong and capable they are also depends on their own feelings towards themselves and their powers. I also quite love the hidden sides to all the characters we meet and get involved with along the way; you never know what people may be hiding. There was one blaring error throughout this novel, however, in that Finlay’s mother’s name changes from Katherine to Katelyn from the beginning to the end of the novel. It does stay consistently Katelyn from chapter 46 on, but I do wish the author had gone back and changed the name in the beginning. A great quote from Katelyn during this book is: “The Goddess talks to you about what you alone can do.”

At the time of writing this novel I am already the majority of the way done with book 2. I highly recommend this book for a nice cozy humourous fantasy with a hint of romance and a little mystery.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair

From bestselling author Scarlett St. Clair comes a dark and enthralling reimagining of the Hades and Persephone Greek myth.

“Let me worship you,” he said.

She remembered the words she had whispered to him in the back of the limo after La Rose. “You will worship me, and I won’t even have to order you.” His request felt sinful and devious, and she reveled in it.

She answered, “Yes.”

Persephone is the Goddess of Spring in title only. Since she was a little girl, flowers have only shriveled at her touch. After moving to New Athens, she hoped to lead an unassuming life disguised as a mortal journalist. All of that changes when she sits down in a forbidden nightclub to play a hand of cards with a hypnotic and mysterious stranger.

Hades, God of the Dead, has built a gambling empire in the mortal world and his favorite bets are rumored to be impossible. But nothing has ever intrigued him as much as the goddess offering him a bargain he can’t resist.

After her encounter with Hades, Persephone finds herself in a contract with the God of the Dead, and his terms are impossible: Persephone must create life in the Underworld or lose her freedom forever. The bet does more than expose Persephone’s failure as a goddess, however. As she struggles to sow the seeds of her freedom, love for the God of the Dead grows—a love that is both captivating and forbidden.

I’m not quite sure why everyone is enamored with this book. I found it somewhat lackluster in development. While one may argue that the characters grow during the novel, it is almost a secondary thought to how their instant connection and love match can continue. So many parts of this novel hinge on how naive and too trusting Persephone is and instead of organically allowing her to grow it seems as if she chooses to only accept Hades at his word/face value in matters of the flesh and not those of morals. While there are plenty of Greek Mythology based persona within the novel, in many cases it seemed as if the name was used without the connections for which they were so widely revered and known. Hades is the one God who appears to be better in reality than how they are portrayed. While there are plenty of steamy scenes, any sort of true love story is overshadowed by how physicality becomes the main connection between Hades and Persephone, especially when they mention not even knowing anything about what the other likes to do for hobbies, when they had been allegedly spending time together for around 5 months.

All in all, it’s a retelling, sure, but if you’re looking for something that hits more of the classic misunderstood but not just in need of an instant connection stories, I’d recommend Meg Cabot’s Abandon.

Star rating: ✯✯✯

Review of Glow by Raven Kennedy

The Booktok hit: The Plated Prisoner Series continues in book 4. This dark adult fantasy romance is inspired by the myth of King Midas and the gold-touched woman who realizes her true worth.

“I was nothing but a road to Midas. A means to get to where he wanted to go, and I paved that path in gold.”

My life has been made up of gilded lies. But death has been shaped from rot.

Like a phoenix caught fire, I will need to rise from the ashes and learn to wield my own power. Because my wings may have been clipped, but I am not in a cage, and I’m finally free to fly from the frozen kingdoms I’ve been kept in.

Yet the world doesn’t want to let me.

That’s the thing when you turn against a king—everyone else turns against you.

Good thing I have a different king in my corner.

But even with the dark threat of Slade Ravinger, the other monarchs are coming for me.

So I will fight for him and he will kill for me, and if we need to become the villains, then so be it.

Because so long as I live in this world, I won’t be used again.

Please note: This is an adult fantasy series with dark elements that may be triggering, including past emotional and physical trauma, violence, adult language, and explicit romance. Read at your own discretion.

Firstly, this book was SLOWWWW. 700 pages. And 10 chapters where we learn about the past, and spend so much time wondering about Auren. It did make the book feel like a bit of a drudge at the beginning with a small pacing issue, especially given how long the novel is. I think Kennedy did an admirable job in representing a repressed person and what trauma responses they can have, as well as how hard it is to work back up to being functional both with a disability/part of you taken away as well as not being oppressed anymore.

I very much enjoyed getting to see more of Slade and understand more of how he came to be in Orea as well as why he can be so dark. It was good to see a few more characters having a bit more time to shine, and I definitely enjoyed learning more of Rissa and Polly. It was also quite neat having Argo so close all, as well as those who he is used to; something I can relate to because often times people are scared or nervous around horses.

The spice in this was very well written, detailed, and why I’m also going to be tagging this under “Romance”. Definitely prefer Slade over Midas, that’s for sure!

Book 5 is due out in June, so I’ll probably be rejoining this world around then!

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯

Review of The Lily Gate by Hanna Sandvig

One princess, twenty princes, and one…frog? The path to true love isn’t always what you might expect.

All my life I’ve been waiting for my prince charming, but you can’t just leave these things up to chance. There are plenty of princes in the Seelie kingdom, but I’m the princess of the Lily Court and someday I will rule. Just because a prince is handsome, or an excellent swordsman, it doesn’t mean he’s going to be a good co-ruler.

Obviously my fairy godmother agrees, because she gave me the christening gift of true love. If I organize a set of challenges for the potential future husbands to tackle, she’s promised that I’ll find my perfect match. 

So that’s just what I have planned, and when a talking frog offers to help me find out what the princes are really like, who am I to argue? Honestly, he’s pretty good company, even if he keeps stealing pastries from the castle kitchen.

Is there truly a prince out there that will meet all the criteria on my very comprehensive list? Or will I find that true love has been waiting for me all along? 

**This adorable sweet romance is a retelling of The Frog Prince and is a stand-alone novella (only eight chapters) in the Faerie Tale Romances series. If you love Fae, pastries, and sassy animal sidekicks, dive into The Lily Gate today!**

This was a very short but cute little story of The Frog Prince. I really enjoyed this retelling because while keeping to the theme of the original, it doesn’t feature all the bad behaviour. While I absolutely adored the aspect of the Princess’ love for the kitchen, I did get quite a bit of Disney’s The Princess and the Frog from this retelling. That being said, I think it is an adorable sweet story, mixing together a couple of different stories into one and with a sweet ending. Definitely worth a read if you have kindle unlimited.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯