Review of Dark Horse by Kel Carpenter and Aurelia Jane

Dark Horse (A Demon's Guide to the Afterlife Book 1) by [Kel Carpenter, Aurelia Jane]

Synopsis:
My husband killed me.

Instead of spending my immortal Afterlife pissed off and angry, I moved on. I became someone.
Sure, that someone was a demon with the highest track record of reform, AKA punishment, in Hell. But who’s bragging?

I’m right on my way to retirement behind the pearly gates. Everything was going fine . . . until the Risk Witches saw a terrible vision.

Three men. Each scarred in their own way, born with powers that haven’t been seen in eons.
Upper Management sent the best to correct their path. Angels. Poltergeists. Nothing worked.

These men were too stubborn. Too bad. Too untamed…

So they sent me.

Roman. Ezra. Dorian.
Combined, they have enough power to end the world—and they will.
Unless I find a way to stop them first.

Breaking people is my job. But this time…my job might break me.

Author’s Note: This is an adult paranormal romance series with multiple love interests and some dark elements. If you don’t like strong but flawed women and alphahole heroes that need to learn a thing or two about boundaries–this book is not for you. If you love works by Tate James, Ivy Asher, Raven Kennedy, Joely Sue Burkhart, and CM Stunich, then dive right in to the Afterlife. It’ll be one hell of a ride.

Review:
So, clearly I love books by Kel Carpenter, and this was no exception. I will say that I found the beginning very jarring and wasn’t sure if I was going to like it if that was the tone expected, but the surprise factor was indeed there perhaps because, as Fury would say, you can’t do what people expect. I really enjoyed the differentiation of abilities for the different species, and how they had their own special skills, and how that influenced Fury’s connection to them.

While I did enjoy this story and trying to figure things out, I found that it lacked a lot of the jabs and tension that most Carpenter books seem to entail, and it certainly lacked the intimacy that most books hold. I also found that the descriptions weren’t quite right in my head, though perhaps that’s because the word amber was used to describe both eyes and skin tone.

All in all, I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Star Rating: ✯✯✯✯

Review of A Truth in Ruby by Jessica Florence

A Truth In Ruby (Onyx Trilogy Book 2) by [Jessica  Florence]

Synopsis:
Life was supposed to be easy after I rescued the princess from the onyx tomb. She would save the world, while I contently stood on the sidelines after completing Destiny’s task.

But Destiny wasn’t done with me. Everything I went through was for one sole purpose—to save myself.

Now, as the princess of Crysia, I must travel across the continent again to the great city of Crystoria, to find the truth of our origins. I must undo the poison King Verin has cast into our lands.

The journey will be difficult since the Dramens want war and Verin will do everything in his power to stop me. With my friends and a rage-filled mate by my side, I can face the truths and save the world.

Right?

Review:
Honestly, this book was easy to fall into and read, and while there were some surprises, the major plot point was somewhat foreseen and in my opinion, quite overdone in many series. While I did love seeing more of the characters and watching their relationships further and develop, I am somewhat annoyed in what becomes the driving factor at the end, because clearly wanting to save all of your people isn’t enough.

Star Rating: ✯✯✯

Review of Queen of Lies by Kel Carpenter

Queen of Lies (Daizlei Academy Book 3) by [Kel Carpenter]

Synopsis:
My second year at Daizlei didn’t kill me. It did something so much worse.
It killed her.
And the world will never be the same because of it.

Anastasia thought she could own me. The Supernatural thought they could control me. They didn’t realize the darkness they courted until the walls of Daizlei came crushing down around us.

I always thought of myself as hard. Unbreakable. Unbeatable.

Until someone beat me.

Now…I was broken and I planned to use all my sharp edges for the one thing I had left.
Revenge.

**Warning: as the characters mature and grow so does the story. This novel is recommended for readers 16+.**

Review:
Ah, the story was picked up and easy to get into. This book had what most of Carpenter’s work does- lots of action and anticipation. There were twists that I definitely didn’t see, and Selena took a lot more time to actually develop and work on relationships in this book. I absolutely loved seeing everything that happens at the Alpha’s home where they are fully accepted as “refugees”. It’s brilliant how the young and innocent bring out so much curiosity in her.

Finally Selena comes to see herself as she is, and when she’s ready to tell the truth, in some places, she find she literally can’t. Luckily, she has a great band of people around her, and I am quite optimistic about what might come in the next book.

Star Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of The Queen’s Crown by K. M. Shea

The Queen's Crown (Court of Midnight and Deception Book 3) by [K. M. Shea]

Synopsis:
Since the day I was crowned Queen of the Night Court, someone has been trying to kill me. Yay, me!

Finding my would-be-killer has been last on my to do list for a long time—which should tell you what a dumpster fire my life has been. But I can’t ignore it anymore. Whoever is plotting against me is getting serious. If I don’t do something soon I might not survive their next attempt.

Normally, I’d count on Rigel—my consort, who also happens to be a deadly fae assassin—to have my back. But he’s been gone for two months, and when he finally returns he won’t say where he’s been. Great, that’s totally not sketchy.

To make matters worse, I love Rigel—and he doesn’t believe me when I tell him! How’s that for romance?

New to do list: catch my would-be killer and convince my own husband I love him. All in a day’s work for the Night Queen.

I knew I should have demanded a job description before I took on this queen gig…

Synopsis:
Finally, so many loose ends put together, and relationships mended that have been waited for since the first two books. I absolutely love this series, because Leila remains her feisty sassy human self while still trying to integrate into the role of queen. I also love that as a horse/animal person she is always trying to do what is right for the animals, but also encouraging people to be safe and wear helmets!

I love Rigel so much, and I’m glad to see how things turn out with them in the end.

I unfortunately had an inkling who had caused the attacks, but that didn’t stop the enjoyment of the book or how everything was discovered and resolved.

Leila does what she thinks is good for her people, and it’s so fun seeing her people enjoying casual human entertainment activities, especially with how into it they all seem to get. The absolute end it brilliant and while I never want K. M. Shea’s series to end, it was still sweet.

I absolutely love how empowered K. M. Shea’s heroines are, even if it takes them a while to get to that point–it just makes it that much more realistic! I definitely recommend this series to anyone who loves faeries, though I’ll forewarn you–you end up drinking so much tea while reading it!

Star Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of The Ink Master’s Silence by C. J. Archer

Synopsis (from Amazon):

It should be a happy time for India and Matt, but forces beyond their control conspire to ruin their future. A distraction from their troubles comes in the form of murder.

When the editor of The Weekly Gazette is killed, controversial journalist and ink magician Oscar Barratt asks India and Matt to investigate. As the recipient of threatening letters written on magic paper, he believes he was the intended target. With suspects ranging from Oscar’s brother to guild masters and London’s elite, India and Matt have a lot of investigating to do.

But the more they dig, the more dark secrets they uncover. Secrets that involve blackmail and an exclusive club of magic collectors who want to preserve the value of their collections. When one of the secrets can give India and Matt the future they desire, will they give in to blackmail or sacrifice their happiness?

Review:
Oh, India. Finally, the chance of love with Matt, but family drama keeps them apart. I had expected that Matt’s uncle threatened something very different, and I am somewhat sad that Matt was so easily assuaged. This particular book felt like more family issues and like a set up for something more.

The way that relationships were portrayed in this novel, as they would have been then, was sad yet likely accurate for the time, but what was more sad was the stigma that having magic placed on people, and how some would be so prejudiced against it.

I cannot wait to see what happens in the next book!

Star Rating: 

Review of The Wisdom of Madness by C. J. Archer

Synopsis (from Amazon):
With Alice determined to discover the truth about her past, and Seth determined to help her, the couple find themselves sucked into a world where nothing is as it seems and no one can be trusted. On the run to escape a mad queen’s wrath, and with an entire realm looking for them, tensions fray and friendships are tested.

Even worse for Seth, shocking secrets he’d rather leave buried are brought to the surface.

Joined on their adventure by an irritable Gus and a mysterious Eva, the four friends must learn the truth of Alice’s past so she can forge her future.

But a future with whom? And where?

Review:
I was wrong about what would happen with Alice! How frustrating! I would like another book (or series) to wrap up everyone’s lives… okay, I just never want to leave this series and want it to go on forever.

Charlie and Lincoln are not truly present in this book, and are more like the side characters that most of the our others have been throughout the series, however, I didn’t find that detracted from the story at all. I ended up liking Eva more than I did before.  Alice really grew as a person, instead of being a shy wallflower, she did what she believed right to keep everyone safe. Eva was very similar, instead of sitting back and keeping quiet, had to learn to use her voice and all of her hard learned knowledge to help those she cares about.

All in all, this book series is my current favourite in its genre, with my only other most favourite series being Harry Potter.

Star Rating: 

Review of Thread and Spool by Holly Hook

Synopsis (from Amazon):
When you can spin yarn into gold, getting whisked to a fairytale world by an evil king is just Tuesday.

Brie’s mysterious ability means trusting others is a bad idea. So she lets her guard down around no one: not her boyfriend and not her adoptive parents. She’s had enough of their gambling and gaming problems.

But when an evil king comes knocking and chases Brie into a realm of magic called Fable, it changes everything. With only one elf, Stilt, by her side, Brie learns she’s meant to take part in a famous fairytale–one that will end in her death or worse, a lifetime married to that evil, greedy king. Just more of the usual, right?

Stilt says he can help her escape, but in return, he might ask for something she can’t give. Who is her elf companion, really?
Trust or die. What’s more terrifying?

Review:
An interesting premise, that fairy tales are true, and that the characters within them want out. Brie is a likable character, empathetic, reasonable. Everything in one girl’s life is thrown on its head, and she’s stuck between what seems reasonable and what is SUPPOSED to happen, something that all of us likely have felt at some point– what we want to do verses what is expected of us.

This book gave a backstory to characters that rarely see one, explaining how not everything “evil” is as it seems, but that conditions can force a disposition on someone who is usually not that way at all.

Star Rating: 

 

Review of Loved by the Dragon by Vivienne Savage

Loved by the Dragon: A Dragon Shifter Paranormal Romance
Dawn of the Dragons Book 1
By Vivienne Savage

Star Rating: 
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling, Romance
Number of Pages: 335
Winter 2018

Synopsis: (From Amazon) 
Two complete stories/No cliffhanger/120,000 words/Adult content/PROFANITY
Author’s Note: Be prepared for kinky sex and bad language. Originally published as Saved by the Dragon, Mated by the Dragon, and Taming the Dragon.

Chloe’s weekend getaway doesn’t go according to plan when she’s trapped in a cave with a gorgeous, golden-eyed rescuer named Saul. His fiery secret and a hot, one-night stand will set in motion events able to change her life forever — but all dragons aren’t ready to accept mortalkind. As shadowy forces in the draconic world object to their new union, Chloe must find the strength to fight for a future with the man she holds dear.

When Marceline Vargas agrees to join her friend Chloe for an island vacation in Mexico, she’s ready for fun in the sun and an escape from her hectic career. After crossing paths with the resort’s owner, she soon discovers the billionaire dragon shifter is a charismatic enigma — sexist but kind-hearted, intimidating yet generous. Can his chauvinistic patterns be tamed? Marcy intends to find out.

Review:
Chloe and Saul’s story is so sweet and nice. You can’t help but hope that Chloe will come around. While I understand that part of the big climax was to introduce other characters for the following books, I thought it was a bit annoying/unrealistic. The language used in this book is very different from Savage’s usual language when writing romance, and I don’t particularly care for the word choice.

Marceline and her billionaire shifter friend I didn’t find as endearing because it seemed a bit too contrived and forced. Could he not have pushed forward during the time they were apart to try to explain, or is it just because time is so different for dragons?

I did like these stories, but I prefer Savage’s fairy tale romances personally.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Sign up at http://www.viviennesavage.com/newsletter to receive an exclusive, free novel.

Vivienne Savage is the pen name of two best friends who write everything together. One works as a nurse in a rural healthcare home in Texas, and the other is a U.S. Navy veteran. Both are mothers to two darling boys and two amazing girls. When they aren’t raising children, writing fantasy, or concocting ways for shapeshifters and humans to find their match, they play online RPG games to pass the time.

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 A Goose Girl by K. M. Shea

A Goose Girl: A Retelling of The Goose Girl
Entwined Tales: Book 1
By K. M. Shea

Star Rating: 
Genre: Young Adult Fairy Tale Retelling
Number of Pages: 117
Winter 2018

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
As a royal lady’s maid, Rynn has one task: Escort the princess of Astoria to her intended’s kingdom and return home. Unfortunately for the former goose girl, the princess has other plans.

When her charge flees, Rynn’s not only forced to take the princess’s place, but she must also contend with a spiteful fairy horse, a good dose of political intrigue, and Conrad…the mysterious and all-too observant lord who consumes more of her thoughts than he should.

But with war looming on the horizon, Rynn stands to lose more than her heart. Can she convince the princess to return, end the charade, and make peace between the kingdoms?

More importantly, can she possibly avoid a death sentence when the truth is revealed?

A Goose Girl is a romantic fairy tale novella. It can be read on its own but is more fun when read as a part of the Entwined Tales, a series of interconnected fairy tales by six different authors. Each story follows the adventures of one of seven children from the same family as they seek out their own happily ever afters in spite of their reluctant fairy-godfather.

Review:
Wow. This book was fabulous. The characters had such depth and there was such a unique plot line in place. I thought I might have had an idea what was going to happen since I knew the original story, but I was nowhere near close. While the Princess is infuriating, Rynn is a very relatable character. Acting aside, one cannot help but absolutely love the royal family, and how Rynn infiltrates what could be a dastardly war.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
K. M. Shea is a fantasy-romance author who never quite grew out of adventure books or fairy tales, and still searches closets in hopes of stumbling into Narnia. She is addicted to sweet romances, witty characters, and happy endings.

She is also extremely committed to her readers—who have set up their base camp at kmshea.com—and lives in the idyllic Midwest with her furry pet, Perfect Dog.

Review of A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury
A Court of Thorns and Roses book 2
By Sarah J. Maas

Star Rating: 
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Historical
Number of Pages: 640

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

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court–but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms–and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future–and the future of a world cleaved in two.

Review:
Things change. I think that’s the most important lesson in life and love that anyone can get. When things change in one person’s life, the other in a relationship must be willing to adapt and change as well. Sometimes things don’t work out, but relationships always have to be a give and take– as Feyre learns.

The depth of characters is expanded upon as we are introduced into more people, and learn that there is usually more to a person than an acquaintance would know and understand, and that rumours and gossip are not always true. But Feyre, Feyre is growing and changing and while she wants stability, she also wants to DO something, to have a purpose– for as a wise man once told me, life isn’t worth living if it’s stagnant.

The selflessness of some characters, in being so connected and invested, yet allowing others to do what would make them happy, was an excellent contrast to how some may not necessarily truly love a person but the idea of a person–what they represent, what they wanted/expected them to be, but not necessarily who they are.

Needless to say, this book was tremendous, and I’m well into the third at the time of writing this review. Read this series– it’s by far my favourite new series I’ve read in 2017.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Sarah J. Maas is the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series, as well as A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury. A New York native, Sarah currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and dog.