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Book Blast: Beneath the Ocean by J.N. Eagles

Free for a limited time on Amazon! Download the eBook May 27!

Genres: poetry + fantasy + ya


Beneath the Ocean is a story told through various poetic styles, illustrating how a young shipmate seeks to find her identity as she struggles against the mercy of the waves and her two fellow deckhands. Through a series of transformations, she strives to locate an island rumored to have buried treasure, which would end her search and, bearing riches, allow her to return home. Instead, she discovers much more while at the bottom of the ocean.

Book Review: Ivy and Ash by B.A. Lovejoy

Hi All!

This week I picked up the first book in the new The University of the Unseen series by B.A. Lovejoy, “Ivy and Ash”. I’ve found myself reading a lot of magic- and paranormal-related stories lately, so this one definitely piqued my interest from the series title alone. Add to that the fact that after reading the Alice: Pick a Card series by Lovejoy I’m completely in love with her writing and will henceforth pick up anything she writes, this sounded like a win-win! Thus, I obviously jumped on this review copy the moment Booksirens and B.A. Lovejoy sent me an email saying it was ready for my greedy little hands.

So how did it rate? Let’s find out with this quick review!

Genre:  Fantasy, Romance, New Adult

Publication Date: May 19, 2023

Booksirens Blurb:

Long ago, the infamous Knox Brothers created a university, one of such renown that few outside of wizarding society’s elite would ever walk through its gates—The University of the Unseen.

But that was then, and this is now, and I, Ana Nilsen, the daughter of a mere factory worker have been accepted into the sophomore class, working underneath the cantankerous Dr. Jones, aiding in his research regarding the limitations of a human soul.

Or at least, that’s what I expected to be doing, until a series of letters threatening my very existence began to appear—letters that I fear may be tied to an attack on George Sacks—a fellow student who seems to know too much for his own good, and the horrific crimes of Simon Petrov, my predecessor.

Now, if I want any hope of finding out who’s sending them, I have to turn to Rowan Avarelle—my competitor and the son of my master’s archrival, the closest that Knox University has to royalty. A man who I am, by all accounts, meant to hate, and yet cannot seem to stay away from.

But Rowan has secrets of his own, and the University of the Unseen is far from what it seems. Especially with rumors of a secret society as old as the university itself that is willing to do anything to ensure the success of its members…

What I liked about the book:

1. Lovejoy’s writing is always so pretty and neat. The description she gives to everything as well as the personality that flows through her writing is ultimately what keeps me coming back for more!

2. Lovejoy’s feminism is still on point! One of the things I loved so much about the Alice: Pick a Card series was how much Lovejoy pointed out society’s, still many, faults in the area of equality. Whether it be Wonderland, a magical university, or just the everyday world, B.A. expertly highlights the small things women still get told on “how to present themselves” and what a “lady should do”, while also having her FMCs tear down those walls with snide remarks and a large metaphorical middle finger. Because of this, her FMCs are always fiery and intelligent, which I can’t get enough of!

3. She writes mysterious boys with beautiful smirks well! I’m not usually into blonde guys, but somehow I am now, also, in love with Rowan Avarelle, despite his many mysteries and flaws. I wish I could say more, but let’s just say, the butterflies are always in full effect when reading chapters with Lovejoy’s MMCs.

What could have been better:

1. While I liked both MCs on their own, I ultimately did not feel the connection the author tried to illustrate. I felt there was not enough background into their growing friendship to illicit the feelings they did/could share for each other. Ultimately, they were lacking a connection for me, which is super unfortunate given they are obviously going to be love interests throughout this whole series.

2. For the first book in a story, it was lacking in the history and worldbuilding I would have liked to see. For the first book, this is your chance to establish all about the world, the characters, the background that we’ll need going forward, however, I felt like this was a pretty normal college story that just happened to have a bit of magic. Not exactly what I was looking for with this one, but still fine.

3. Overall, there were a lot of times where I wasn’t really sure what was happening. While I’m sure this book is setting up a lot for future books, the first book in a new series should envelope you in intrigue and give you just enough to keep you wanting to progress in the series. Honestly, if this wasn’t B.A. Lovejoy, I probably wouldn’t continue. But I have faith that she will get us there!

Final Thoughts:

Not what I was looking for exactly, but I will continue with the series.

Final Rating: 

3 stars

Thank you to Booksirens, and B.A. Lovejoy for the copy of this book. The review expressed above is honest and my own.   

Book Review: Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emma Törzs

Hi All!

I hope everyone’s weekend went well!

This weekend I read Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emma Törzs. This incredibly lush story of family secrets, magic, and a group of misfit heroes has surpassed all other reads so far this year for me! Do yourselves a favor and check it out when it releases next week on May 30!

Want to know what makes this book so special? Here are my opinions!

Genre:  Fantasy

Publication Date: May 30, 2023

NetGalley Blurb:

In this spellbinding debut novel, two estranged half-sisters tasked with guarding their family’s library of magical books must work together to unravel a deadly secret at the heart of their collection—a tale of familial loyalty and betrayal, and the pursuit of magic and power.

For generations, the Kalotay family has guarded a collection of ancient and rare books. Books that let a person walk through walls or manipulate the elements—books of magic that half-sisters Joanna and Esther have been raised to revere and protect.

All magic comes with a price, though, and for years the sisters have been separated. Esther has fled to a remote base in Antarctica to escape the fate that killed her own mother, and Joanna’s isolated herself in their family home in Vermont, devoting her life to the study of these cherished volumes. But after their father dies suddenly while reading a book Joanna has never seen before, the sisters must reunite to preserve their family legacy. In the process, they’ll uncover a world of magic far bigger and more dangerous than they ever imagined, and all the secrets their parents kept hidden; secrets that span centuries, continents, and even other libraries . . .

In the great tradition of Ninth House, The Magicians, and Practical Magic, this is a suspenseful and richly atmospheric novel that draws readers into a vast world filled with mystery and magic, romance, and intrigue—and marks the debut of an extraordinary new voice in speculative fiction. 

What I liked about the book:

1. Let’s first discuss the writing, which was perfect! Not only was the world building of the magic system super freaking interesting (which we’ll get to in a bit), but the grammar, spelling, and overall flow of this book was unequivocally flawless. This is not something that I mark an author down for unless it is excessive and leads to a large flow problem for the story, but this is DEFINITELY something I give points for when done well!

This story was written in third person POV, for three main characters: Joanna, Esther, and Nicholas. While I am not usually a fan of third person POV as I feel it is not as personal and intimate as stories told in first person, Emma convinced me that it can be done right with this book! I had no feelings of missing a character’s feelings or wanting to know more of what they were thinking, because Emma was able to expertly weave a third person POV story that felt like first person POV. Maybe I don’t hate third person POV after all!  

The flow of the story was fantastic. Information was provided and clarified at the right pace to be mysterious but not daunting. I’m still not able to figure out how Emma did it, but essentially, I knew I was missing details while reading, but I also didn’t obsess over it because I had a bone-deep trust that Emma would get us there. Where and how this trust was developed I do not know, but somewhere within this story it happened and Emma did not disappoint.

2. Getting back to the system of magic, I was completely in awe of the idea and really dug it. I loved that there was definitely a yin-yang concept to it in that the people who wrote spells couldn’t wield them and the people who could practice magic couldn’t write spells; you had to have both for the whole system to work or it would cease to exist.

The methodology behind it all was wildly fascinating to me. The way that spells were written was unique and creative, but I was especially charmed with a book only having so many uses before it faded. This just made so much sense given how the books were written! I can’t say more about that, but trust me, it’s fantastic!

Finally, the background written around scribes and magic as well as all the artefacts found in the library totally fed into my lust for history! I loved the more immediate history we got detailing the FMC’s families before they were born, but also the history we got from generations before that. It made me think, “Did this type of thing actually exist?!?!” This was just like when I watched Jurassic Park for the first time and thought “THIS COULD TOTALLY HAPPEN!”.

3. I liked all three main characters and felt they definitely had their own voices as I read. They were all underdogs in their own ways and I love that! Usually we get one, but we got three here!

Joanna (little sister and magic wielder) was the quintessential goodie good who did everything she was told to without many questions, stayed dutiful and loyal to her family, and ultimately was a prisoner in her own life of solitude. I loved watching her step out of her comfort zone, forge relationships with new people, and ultimately learn to do something she thought she never could.

Esther (big sister and non-magic wielder) was the dictionary definition of the wild child, runaway. Never staying in the same place for too long and never establishing roots until one day everything changed, forcing her to go back to basics, find her way home, and simultaneously find her place in the magical world.    

Nicholas (the lone, living scribe) was the sheltered but well-off “chosen one”. Left as the only scribe in the world, Nicholas was treated as no more than a machine for his…abilities, but otherwise was given anything and everything he could possibly want, including one super cute sidekick Pomeranian! Watching him develop relationships with several people and overcome his personal hurdles like a BOSS was so satisfying.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Collins, Nicholas’s hilarious bodyguard, who was really like the fourth MC. Collins’s love for the female Pomeranian, Sir Kiwi(!), his hilarious bickering back-and-forth with Nicholas, and his intelligence despite being sidelined as the brawn in their equation, made him easily my favorite character in the entire story.

4. Finally, this book did a great job tying everything together. From small things in the beginning of the book that later became significant, to the tattooed quote that followed Esther throughout the entire story, there were so many “AHA!” moments in this one that I loved.

What could have been better:

1. I wish we had gotten a bit more romance! I’m a romance junkie, and the description saying “this is a suspenseful and richly atmospheric novel that draws readers into a vast world filled with mystery and magic, romance, and intrigue” tells me there is going to be some grand romance. However, I felt the book was missing this piece with both FMCs. Don’t get me wrong, there was romance for sure, both of which I was all for, but there just wasn’t enough there for me.

Final Thoughts:

Such a beautifully written story with a unique take on magic, sisterhood, and unlikely heroes.

Final Rating: 

4.5 eye-opening stars!

About the Author:

EMMA TÖRZS is a writer, teacher, and occasional translator based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her fiction has been honored with an NEA fellowship in prose, a World Fantasy Award for Short Fiction, and an O. Henry Prize. Her stories have been published in journals such as Ploughshares, Uncanny Magazine, Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, and American Short Fiction. She received her MFA from the University of Montana, Missoula, and is an enthusiastic member of the Clarion West class of 2017.

Check out Emma’s social media at the links below.

Goodreads | Website

While you’re at it, let’s be antisocial together!

Goodreads | Instagram | Gmail

Thank you to NetGalley, William Morrow, and Emma Törzs for the advanced copy of this book. The review expressed above is honest and my own.

Book Review: Slaying the Frost King by Candace Robinson and Elle Beaumont

Hi All!

I hope everyone’s weekend went well!

As a mother to an almost two-year-old, Mother’s Day was a little wild for me. The usual and crazy amount of spunk that I love was in full force this weekend, and I did get a pretty sick gnome out of it! Do I collect gnomes or did I own a single gnome related thing before Sunday? No, but I love it all the same!

Speaking of pretty sick things, recently I read Slaying the Frost King by Elle Beaumont and Candace Robinson! This book has a bit of interesting cross-series-functionality (is that a term?) to it. This book is a standalone installment of the “heart-pounding fantasy romance series, Mortal Enemies to Monster Lovers”, and is also set in the same world as the Demons of Frosteria series you may have previously seen my review for:

Frost Mate and Frost Claim

I am not familiar with the Mortal Enemies to Monster Lovers other stories (though you bet your bottom I’ll be checking them out now!), but I am a sucker for those Men Demons of Frosteria, so I knew I had to hop on this ARC when I saw it.

Let’s get to the details!

Genre:  Romance, Fantasy

Publication Date: June 8, 2023

BookSirens Blurb:

He’s the Frost King. She’s his sacrifice. A cold world creates cold hearts.

Morozko is king of the frost realm, and every year he requires a sacrifice. But when his royal pride is wounded, Morozko demands a maiden instead.

Eirah, a recluse toymaker, is chosen from hundreds to give up her life and save her village. However, she must first be dragged to Morozko’s ice palace as his prisoner.

With Eirah ensnared in his clutches, the king promises one thing: no matter how high the flames of desire burn between them, her blood will spill on the edge of his blade.

Unless she spills his first.

Slaying the Frost King is a standalone installment of the heart-pounding fantasy romance series, Mortal Enemies to Monster Lovers. If you like strong heroines and morally gray heroes, as well as spicy slow burn, forced proximity, and enemies to lovers vibes, you’ll devour this sexy, addictive series. Perfect for fans of A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Deal with the Elf King, Grace Draven, and Jennifer L. Armentrout.

What I liked about the book:

1. I love seeing a big, tough playboy fall to his knees for the badass FMC who doesn’t want anything to do with him! It definitely makes the nerdy girl in me who finds guilty pleasure in the jocks/bros squeal with delight!

2. My god, Morozko’s and Eirah’s chemistry was INSANE!!!! I swear, every time he called her little bird, my heart fluttered like it had wings!

The setup as a prisoner/master and the way his feelings for her changed completely reminded me of Pestilence by Laura Thalassa, which I absolutely loved! Apparently, this is just another kink I didn’t know I had until now…

3. I liked both MCs in this book!

Eirah was tough and smart, didn’t bow down to him like everyone else, and was legitimately due what she was ultimately gifted in my opinion. She is by far my favorite FMC in the Demons of Frosteria world thus far!!!

Morozko was another misunderstood, alpha bad boy with a tragic past who was healed by true loves powers. And as much as he could be a “prick” at times, he was definitely intelligent and really just trying to do his best to save everyone. What’s not to love about that!?!?

I also liked the main side characters (Eirah’s father, her BFF Saren, Morozko’s closest confidants). There were no characters I didn’t like, which is rare for me. A+ on the characters!

4. I loved the history behind how the krampi came to be!!! I’m a sucker for historical/mythological tales, and the history that was developed around this very much fed that hunger! It really tied all the tales in the series so far together!

5. With the forced proximity, prisoner/master relationship, and the huge castle, I couldn’t help but get Beauty and the Beast vibes, which is NEVER a bad thing for me!

6. The fighting scenes were so descriptive and wonderfully written, I felt like I was in battle with them.

I also felt like the scenes centering on their sexual relationship were perfect given the setting. I’m not expecting pages and pages of graphic scenes when they’re literally in battle just waiting for something else to happen. What we did get were a couple of nice little scenes that had just enough dirty talk and spice to get you through 😉

7. I. FREAKING. LOVE. THE. COVER!!!! Oh my goodness, from the details in her outfit I totally didn’t notice at first, to the look in his eyes and the colors behind them, this cover is magnificent and perfectly encapsulates this book!

Final Thoughts:

Perfect installment to the Demons of Frosteria series that I can’t wait to read more of!

Final Rating:  5 stars!

Thank you to Booksirens, the publishers, and Elle Beaumont and Candace Robinson for the copy of this book. The opinions expressed above are my own.

Revelations (Belle Morte, #2) by Bella Higgin

Hi All!

I hope everyone’s week is off to a lovely start!

This past week I read the second installment in the Belle Morte series Revelations by Bella Higgin.

After getting an ARC of book 1 last year, I was super excited to return to the world that has lived rent free in my head for the last 400+ days. I normally have a very bad habit of forgetting information and losing interest in series if I don’t read them one book after another. HOWEVER, Belle Morte has proven to be an exception to this rule. I cannot tell you how many times in the last year I have stalked Bella Higgin’s Instagram and Goodreads profiles trying to get more information on book 2.

For all intents and purposes, this series has sank it’s fangs into me in the most delicious little love bite ever and I’m not letting it let go!

First things first, check out my review of book 1 here: Belle Morte

Now let’s get to my book 2 review!

Genre:  Romance, New Adult, Paranormal

Publication Date: May 9, 2023

Quote that sums up the book: “The walls of Belle Morte were supposed to keep intruders out. I never imagined they’d keep traitors in.”

Goodreads Blurb:

Truth comes at a cost.

Ever since Renie Mayfield survived the merciless attack on Belle Morte that killed donors and vampires alike, she is forever changed. Now a vampire, the agonizing transformation of her body and mind is rivaled only by uncovering the horrific truth about her sister, June, who has escaped the mansion in her rabid form, adding even more chaos to Renie’s reality.

As the vampire responsible for Renie’s change, and now her distress, Edmond Dantes remains in his own desperate place. He’s confined in the secret cells of Belle Morte, awaiting the arrival of the council and the subsequent punishment for his actions. Edmond questions if what he did was right and deeply regrets what has become of his home.

Desperate to free Edmond, find June, and bring justice to whoever is behind the recent violence, Renie is out for blood in more ways than one. The smell of corruption is embedded in the walls of Belle More, but behind the walls are even more secrets that may lead to the truth and to justice.

What I liked about the book:

1. Vampire murder mystery full of political intrigue, secret passageways(!), the banding together of unlikely friends, and la petite mort we so desperately craved!

2. I loved and appreciated that the author gave us callbacks of events in book 1. I for sure didn’t remember some of the details, and Bella had our backs with reminding us of important details.

3. I loved watching the mutual respect grow between Ysanne and Renie. Getting to see from Renie’s point of view, we got insight into her internal thoughts on things, and saw her grow to truly understand Ysanne. This line for me, really sold that:

If Ysanne had been anyone else, I’d have comforted her, but I knew her well enough now to understand that was not what she wanted. To Ysanne, grief and comfort were things to be shown in private, not in front of everyone else.

Similarly, seeing Ysanne open up to Renie (in her own ways), was tragically beautiful. She was so broken in this book (for several, really good reasons) that she really opened up to those in her circle and we got to see that hidden side to her I KNEW existed.   

Given they are both strong, smart women, I loved watching them work together instead of against one another!

4. I loved that Roux and Jason still played such a large part in these series, and are now the only humans around going forward, besides maybe Nikki, who I LOVED!

5. The characters remained strong!

Edmond I felt was a stronger character in this one. Perhaps it was too long ago that I read book 1, but I felt he was more in touch with his soldier past in this book and I loved seeing this side of him. In fact, his battles side by side with Ludovic were some of my favorite scenes in the whole book!

Ysanne I for sure have a crush on. She is a Boss Babe and I would die for her!

Jason was hilarious and served as the comic relief in this actiony installment.

Roux was solving riddles like a world-class sleuth.  

Ludovic was even more badass than book 1 (didn’t know that was possible!) and I definitely didn’t miss those lingering glances at Roux. I swear to the Gods, if they don’t end up together I’m going to have a FIT!!!

Nikki was a new character who was fantastic! She was smart as a whip and fearless even in the face of potential death. I really hope she continues to be in this series and we see more of her!

6. I started a list of quotes and scenes I loved and quickly realized they are all Edmond! ALL OF THEM! Check these out and see why Edmond has me googling sweet men with French accents.

“I swore to myself that I’d never love again,” he said, and Renie stiffened. “I told myself that it wasn’t worth the pain,” he continued. “But…” Leaning forward, he rested his forehead against hers. […] “It was worth it. It’s always worth it. I didn’t want to fall in love with you, but you stole my heart and I don’t want it back.”


Loving someone was giving them your heart – when someone hurt Renie, they hurt Edmond too. He feared for her more than he feared for himself, and that fear was an icy wave that crashed into him, making him feel like all his vampire strength had been stripped away.

What use was superior strength when he couldn’t use it to protect the woman he loved?


Edmond: “How are you feeling?”

Renie: “Calmer. I’m still processing everything that’s happened, and I’m still not okay, but I’m not going to fall apart.”

Edmond: “If you do fall, I’ll always catch you.”

Renie: “I know.”


“I have lived a very long time, and I’ve loved a number of women, but you, ma chérie – you undo me.”


7. That cover is Gorg-town! Super pretty!

What could have been better:

1. Similar to my thoughts on book 1, it was dual POV, but Renie’s sections were in first person, while Edmond’s were in third person, and I disliked it strongly! I really wanted this story in first person dual POV, or if once Renie became a vampire her POV to shift to third person like Edmond’s. If this was a style choice by the writer to have all vampires be third person POV, I could have actually gotten behind this in a really big way, but that didn’t happen so I’m left with eye twitches of frustration.

2. Renie was kind of annoying in this book. I did like how every time she started getting annoying, though, she did call herself out. I appreciated her ability to self-regulate her attitude and trains of thought, but it was still a little annoying to go through the process with her.

3. There simply was not enough build up into the Roux and Ludovic relationship I MUST HAVE in the next book! I will legit cry if this doesn’t happen

Final Rating: 

4 Ludovic-can-bite-me-any-day stars

Thank you to Rachel Wu at Wattpad WEBTOON Book Group and Bella Higgin for the advanced copy of this book! The thoughts and opinions expressed above are voluntary and my own.

Want to check out what else Bella is working on? Hop on over to her social media accounts using the below.

Goodreads | Instagram 

While you’re at it, let’s be antisocial together!

Goodreads | Instagram | Gmail

Happy Pub Day: Time’s Orphan by Hayley Reese Chow

Hi All!

It’s finally here! Happy Pub Day “Time’s Orphan”!

This week I continued reading the Odriel’s Heirs series with the third and final book in the series, “Time’s Orphan”. If you didn’t catch my posts from the last couple weeks, I was provided with ALL 3 FULL-LENGTH AND 2 NOVELLA-LENGTH books in this series, including an ARC of this third book, by the author Hayley Reese Chow!

I’ve be reviewing one book per week up until now, the third book’s release date. I’ve laughed, I’ve fallen in love with another fictional family, and I’ve given you all my thoughts and feelings along the way. But alas, all good things must come to an end. Good thing Hayley saved the best for last!

Before we hop to my review for this last book, here are the links to my reviews of all the prior books and novellas in the series:

Odriel’s Heirs

Burning Shadows

Idriel’s Children

Night of Ash

Genre:  Young Adult, Fantasy

Publication Date: February 8, 2023

Goodreads Blurb:

Speak of pain, and I’ll tell you of the Time who stole it away…

Besieged by war, ravaged by monsters, and crawling with the undead, the land of Okarria is dying. Seventeen-year-old Emara survives by using her modest healing gift to save as many as she can while eluding the invaders who thirst for her enchanted blood.

So when a cursed cat saves her life and reveals Emara is the legendary Time Heir the necromancer king’s been searching for, she agrees to act as bait in a plot to destroy him. But when the plan goes horrifically awry, Emara must discover how deep her powers go, what she can change…

And what she cannot.

Unfortunately, Time Heirs have a history of getting killed, and with Okarria’s future on the line, Emara may have no choice but to follow in her ancestors’ footsteps.

What I liked about the book:

1. In book 1, we got our feet wet in the world of Okarria. In book 2, we got to step into the Shadow Plane. In book 3, we got time travel baby!

I absolutely loved how this book brought yet another new “location” into play in the series. I loved figuring out who was who and where certain people would have been at this point in their lives. It brought that same air of mystery Hayley has woven in the other stories, with its own unique twist.

Similar to book 2 and the Shadow Plane scenes, a lot of my favorite scenes happened when Emara was 100 years in the past, so this was a big win for me!

It was especially fun to see how the areas acted before the Lost got really bad and it was still a relatively happy and functioning society; this definitely gave me hope that it could look like that again!

2. I really went into this book thinking that no one could top Aza, and DEFINITELY no one could top Makeo. I’m happy to announce that I was wrong on both fronts!

Emara at her core was a FIGHTER! No, she may not have been exceptionally talented with weapons or her fists, but she NEVER gave up. She was super resilient, was wicked smart, and was all for helping others. Even though she had been told to hide her abilities her whole life, at the first sign that she could help she brought that magic to her fingers and dug in! She also had no qualms about letting herself be captured in order to get closer to the bad guys. She was truly a team player and I loved her.

Speaking of her having to hide her abilities, I loved that she was so different from the other heirs. As someone who had never been told of her true identity and wasn’t trained properly for it, was constantly on the run from battle to battle, and was told to hide her magic growing up, she definitely wasn’t raised like the other heirs. Don’t get me wrong, they all had hard lives, but hers was just a little less cushy and it really made you want her to succeed that much more. In a series full of underdogs and badasses, she had so much to offer the entire group because of her differences! This line in reference to Emara’s thoughts on Aza really showed her difference to me:

This wasn’t just any woman in front of her, this was a legend.

It’s so strange in this world for an heir to think this of another heir; to think them as legendary and above all others. But I loved seeing this small but significant detail with Emara.

I loved her love interest so much for her, always wanting to be near her and seeking her out to take care of her when you can tell no one had really taken care of him. I also adored their back and forth. Their chemistry was so palpable from the beginning that I just kept eating it up page after page.

Jai was everything I thought Klaus was going to be in book 1 and more! He was this little street urchin, pickpocket with a quick mind, delicious smirk, and a deep loyalty for those in his circle.

Shadmundar was so much more caring in this one, really taking the Time Heir under his wing. I loved their connection and how he always had her best interest at heart. I can’t give too much away, but we finally find out why Shadmundar has been around for all these dang heirs and I loved every detail of it!

3. Speaking of Shadmundar, he had a much larger role in this story than the others. I loved how he acted as her historical guide as she came to terms with her identity. A lot of the things that I had questions about and made peace with not knowing in books 1 and 2, he explained to her in this book! We got to know all about why he was turned into a cat, we got to know all about Ivanora’s and Everard’s backstories, and we finally found out who the heck Bellaphia really was.  

4. Like all the other books in the series, the action was phenomenally written. BUT, you could also fully see Hayley’s growth as a writer present in this story. From the daunting and dark first 4 novels/novellas, we finally got to see some lightness, some comedy, and some romance that was better written than all the other stories. The lightness and comedy are more than likely attributable to Emara’s personality compared to Kaia’s and Aza’s, but the chemistry between Emara and her love interest was undeniably a level-up compared to the others.

5. By now you know I’m a fan of these gorgeous covers!

6. I loved that we got to see a lot of Aza in this one! I also loved how her life had developed in the last 10 years and getting to be part of that with her ❤

7. We have finally reached the end of the series, but definitely have only scratched the surface of Hayley’s wisdom. Here were some of my favorite lines for this story:

Both sides always lost in war; one just lost more than the other.

She’d never let them take her alive, even if it meant making the final cut herself.

So many cogs had already been set in motion. And she was only one.

Shad: “The world was never perfect. And even if we succeed, it will never be perfect. The only thing we can do is try to make it a little better with the time that we have.”

Emara: “I should’ve-”

Shad: “Don’t second guess the past. The paths are many, but we can never know where any of them lead. Once chosen, we can only go forward. No use carrying the weight of past mistakes when you still have so many to make in the future.”

Emara: “There’s…too many. I’m going to lose him!”

Aza: “You are not. You are a Time Heir of legend, gifted with the strength of Odriel himself to heal the injured, strengthen the weak, and be the wall between life and death. To the tireless, he gave the hardest task. To the gentle he gave the most power. That is you, Emara Alik, Ioni Rao, survivor of the blood-soaked west.”

– I loved seeing Aza pay the speech of strength forward!

“Secrets weigh lighter when spoken aloud.”

“…in matters of the mind I feel a needle may be more helpful than a club.”

What could have been better:

1. NOTHING! It was complete and total perfection!

Final Thoughts:

Bottom line, this series is a must read for any fans of YA Fantasy!

Final Rating: 5 beautiful stars

Want to check out what else Hayley is working on? Hop on over to her social media accounts using the below.

Goodreads | Instagram | Website

While you’re at it, let’s be antisocial together!

Goodreads | Instagram | Gmail

In Nightfall by Suzanne Young

Hi All!

I hope everyone’s week is going well!

If you’re anything like me, you’re still super fascinated every time you have to write “XX/XX/2023” on something, and simultaneously freaked out that a whole month has already gone by! However, the good news is there are still 11 months left in the year to read as many books as we want!

Speaking of which, this weekend I read In Nightfall by Suzanne Young and had some pretty strong feelings about it. Let’s dive into it!

Genre:  Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Horror

Publication Date: March 28, 2023

NetGalley Blurb:

In the quaint town of Nightfall, Oregon, it isn’t the dark you should be afraid of—it’s the girls. The Lost Boys meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this propulsive novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Treatment.

Theo and her brother, Marco, threw the biggest party of the year. And got caught. Their punishment? Leave Arizona to spend the summer with their grandmother in the rainy beachside town of Nightfall, Oregon—population 846 souls.

The small town is cute, when it’s not raining, but their grandmother is superstitious and strangely antisocial. Upon their arrival she lays out the one house rule: always be home before dark. But Theo and Marco are determined to make the most of their summer, and on their first day they meet the enigmatic Minnow and her friends. Beautiful and charismatic, the girls have a magnetic pull that Theo and her brother can’t resist.

But Minnow and her friends are far from what they appear.

And that one rule? Theo quickly realizes she should have listened to her grandmother. Because after dark, something emerges in Nightfall. And it doesn’t plan to let her leave.

What I liked about the book:

1. I liked the sarcasm and the relationship between Theo and her brother Marco. It was genuine and believable.

2. I absolutely adored Nonna, especially after she told Theo her history in the town! She was a total badass.

What could have been better:

1. I was definitely lured by the cover and blurb on this one. Given The Lost Boys and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the Kristy Swanson and Luke Perry version) were two of my favorite movies when I was younger, I figured this would be a slam dunk.

What I didn’t figure was the book would feel like someone took The Lost Boys and made it into a Mad Lib for the author to fill out. It was especially hard to ignore in the first couple of chapters that this was a gender swapped, shot for shot remake of the film at times. Instead of the references being a “cool! I get that one!” they were very…cringy. Maybe if I hadn’t just watched the movie 2 weeks ago, I wouldn’t have caught as many of the comparisons and my thoughts on this would be a bit different?

However, I also didn’t feel there was much Buffy the Vampire Slayer­-ness to it other than fighting a bunch of vampires in a prom dress. Perhaps I’m missing something because I’m over 20 years late watching the television show, but I honestly don’t think so.

2. I liked the podcast and mystery ideas within the story, but I didn’t feel they were utilized to their potential. I didn’t really understand what the point was of her even listening to the first episode of the podcast focusing on the town if she had already met the podcasters and formed a relationship with them. I also didn’t understand why they mentioned episode two would drop and then that never went anywhere.

I felt like this was a check-the-box exercise in throwing a podcast into a story, which I’ve seen a lot more of recently. Other than perhaps trying to create a vibe reminiscent of Serial for murder mystery books or trying to show characters as relatable by listening to podcasts, I’m not sure what the theory is behind including this trait now and rarely do I see it executed well.

3. Unfortunately, the book didn’t really get exciting for me until the big reveal we all knew was coming at around the 70% mark. The romance was bleh, the characters besides Nonna were bleh, and the plot was predictable. Overall, just not for me.

4. I hate being THIS PERSON, but this definitely could have used another round of editing. A couple slips are absolutely no problem for me, but constant sentences where you can tell a word was supposed to be deleted stagnate the flow and bring me out of the story altogether.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, just not for me.

Final Rating: 2 stars

Thank you to Random House Children’s, Delacorte Press, and Suzanne Young for this free advanced review copy of this book. The thoughts and opinions expressed above are honest and my own.

Night of Ash (Odriel’s Heirs, #2.5) by Hayley Reese Chow

Hi All!

This week I continued reading the Odriel’s Heirs series with the second novella “Night of Ash”. If you didn’t catch my posts from the last couple weeks, I was provided with ALL 3 FULL-LENGTH AND 2 NOVELLA-LENGTH books in this series, including an ARC of the third book “Time’s Orphan”, by the author Hayley Reese Chow!

I’ll be reviewing one book per week until the third book’s release date of February 8, giving you all my thoughts and feelings along the way!

Before we hop to my review for this second novella in the series, here are the links to my reviews of books 1, 1.5, and 2:

Odriel’s Heirs

Burning Shadows

Idriel’s Children

Genre:  Young Adult, Fantasy

Publication Date: September 27, 2022

Goodreads Blurb:

The night buries all Shadows…

After healing from the last battle with Idriel’s Children, the young Shadow Heir, Aza Thane, once again finds herself at a magus’s door looking for answers. There, she and her companions learn of a dark plot to raise an ancient demon necromancer in the corpse of a soul-eating monster and rush to the once great city of Austerden to stop it.

Racing toward a city on the brink of a massacre and still haunted by her past mistakes, Aza will have to learn to trust again if she wants to save anyone at all… including herself.

What I liked about the book:

1. Similar to the first novella, this book picked up effortlessly from the groundwork Chow did in its predecessor novel. These novellas truly feel like lovely little glimpses into the world of the MCs just after the events in the previous book; an extension of the characters we love, before jumping to new MCs. I love these little shorts we get between the main books and the more time we get to spend with our favorite characters!

2. The characters were awesome as always!

  • Similar to Kaia’s growth shown in “Burning Shadows” it was amazing to see how Aza had grown from a woman of logic and saving those who were more “useful” first, to being willing to sacrifice herself for everyone and anyone. Her fierce spirit and love for those around her, especially in what she thought were her last moments, was phenomenal to watch!

If this was her fate, so be it, but she’d send a hundred of these things to the grave before she followed them.

  • Of course, Makeo, was downright loveable as always, constantly reassuring Aza at every turn and giving her the mental support she needed to continue.

Makeo: *put a reassuring hand on her back* “You need to stop second-guessing yourself.”

Aza: “If I’m that obvious, perhaps I should start third-guessing instead.”

– Giiiirl, that is a slippery slope. Trust me!

Makeo: “You’ve asked for everyone’s forgiveness, Aza, more than once. But you might want to consider asking it of yourself.”

Aza: “How could I ask that, when I’m the reason we’re here?”

Makeo: “Oh Aze.” *his gaze shone with a bittersweet warmth* “That’s where you’re wrong. You were only one stone in an avalanche of hundreds that got us here. If we’re going to stop the chain now, we need to look forward, not back.”

– I mean, how do you NOT fall in love with this guy???

  • I loved seeing a more in depth look into Zephyr, including his “new” romance with Hoku. He seemed less arrogant and more likable when she was around, and she was another badass woman in this series!

Zephyr: *turns to Hoku* “And-”

Hoku: “Don’t even think it. I may not be an Heir, but I have a keen mind. A sharp blade. An unbreakable will.” *lifts her chin, defiance glinting in her eyes* “Surely we’ll need all three.”

Zephyr: *runs a hand through his hair, his brows sloped with worry* “But what if-”

Hoku: “Besides, I’m the fastest rider here and the only one of you lot that’s even been to Austerden.” *she takes a step closer, a dangerous ferocity in her slow movements* “I’m coming.”

– Well, she just put him in his place…

  • And I loved getting to see the Shadow Heir and Dragon Heir get to fight in the same plane!
  • I loved the small bit we got of Dorinar and Marloa, who are DEFINITELY together. Just check this out:

Dorinar: “You can be certain Ivanora (Dorinar’s evil sister) has sent her monsters after us even now. While we’re alive, we’re a threat to her.”

Zephyr: “And you’re sure you won’t come with us, Dorinar? We could use your help.”

Dorinar: “And leave Marloa to travel on her own? With my most precious books?” *sniffles* “I can’t risk it.”

– Definitely not leaving his woman behind, and DEFINITELY DEFINITELY not leaving his books behind. I get it man, I get it.

  • I also loved the old guardsman, Samar Bhalla, at the end who gave Aza strength when she needed it most.

Samar: “It’s not about what you’ve done or haven’t, it’s about what you can still do. It’s your potential. I’m afraid, my lass, for better or for worse, as the Shadow Heir, you don’t just belong to yourself. But to all of Okarria. You hold our hope in your hands. You shoulder our fears. And you are the kindling for our bravery.”

Aza: “What if it’s already over?”

Samar: “That is a decision, lass. It’s never over as long as the brave are willing to fight on. And like it or not, it is your fight to lead. Your decision to make. Is this over? Or are you willing to fight for what was taken from us?”

3. I liked the progress shown in this book, including the history behind maybe why Ivanora is the way she is.

I also loved the fact that they didn’t come out on top! This novella definitely heightened the need for the elusive Time Heir and will feed beautifully into his/her story that’s up next! I really hope the next book doesn’t follow the same formula as books 1 and 1.5, meaning Aza and Zephyr won’t have much of a role in book 3 because of a time jump. I can’t bear to lose any more heirs! I just want my Time Heir and the whole story to end nicely!!!

4. This was the perfect amount of action, new plot development, and page count for a novella. I could not put it down and was able to finish it in about an hour or two.

What could have been better:

1. I was a bit bummed that we didn’t get more Makeo, Zephyr, and Hoku, especially since if the formula from books 1 and 1.5 does continue, they will have a small role going forward, much like Klaus and Kaia in books 2 and 2.5. Let’s hope that’s not the case because I need all the Maldibor babies up in this world, or at least the freaking curse broken and HEAs all around!

Final Thoughts:

Such a great addition to this series!

Final Rating: 4.5 stars

Want to check out what else Hayley is working on? Hop on over to her social media accounts using the below.

Goodreads | Instagram | Website

While you’re at it, let’s be antisocial together!

Goodreads | Instagram | Gmail

Idriel’s Children by Hayley Reese Chow

Hi All!

I hope everyone’s week is going well!

This week I continued reading the Odriel’s Heirs series with the second full-length book “Idriel’s Children”. If you didn’t catch my post from last week, I was provided with ALL 3 FULL-LENGTH AND 2 NOVELLA-LENGTH books in this series, including an ARC of the third book “Time’s Orphan”, by the author Hayley Reese Chow!

I’ll be reviewing one book per week until the third book’s release date of February 8, giving you all my thoughts and feelings along the way!

Before we hop to my review for this second full-length book in the series, here are the links to my reviews of book 1 and book 1.5:

Odriel’s Heirs

Burning Shadows

Genre:  Young Adult, Fantasy

Publication Date: May 1, 2022

Goodreads Blurb:

Reaping darkness, the Shadow slicked steel with judgment and danced with death…

Sixteen-year-old Aza inherited the power of shadow to rid the land of evil as Odriel’s cold-blooded assassin. With her growing strength, Aza discovers the Shadow Plane—a realm of wraiths where screams haunt the winds, calling to her. Although her father forbids her from entering the dark realm, Aza can’t ignore the beckoning whispers.

When a dangerous new breed of monster attacks, Aza believes the Shadow Plane holds the answers they need to defeat them. With the unwanted help of a snarky cat and a cursed beast, Aza seeks out the monastic Wraith-Called for answers. But the deeper Aza delves into the dark realm, the further she drifts from the world she knows.

As Aza uncovers evils new and old, she must decide if the ends really do justify the means… and how many lives she’s willing to pay.

What I liked about the book:

1. The worldbuilding continued, letting us step into a whole other dimension: the Shadow Plane  – the space between the living and the dead. From creepy creatures to an alluring voice calling our FMC, it was hard to resist the pull to the Shadow Plane as a reader as well. So much mystery and so much darkness had me rooting for Aza to learn to control her time in the Shadow Plane so we too could see what it was all about. And when we did learn about it, as well as more history about the Heirs, I loved it!

I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say, some of the scenes that happened in the Shadow Plane were my favorite scenes in the entire book.

2. I thought the characters in book 1 were good, but they had NOTHING on these new characters!

Aza, our FMC, was a supreme badass! She literally came out swinging and she was just really cool (as dumb as that sounds coming from a 30-year-old woman). She understands her mission as the Shadow Heir completely, being able to separate her emotions from her logic as easy as the crow flies.

The path of the Shadow Heir was dark for more reasons than one. Sometimes, you had to take a life to save one. It set them apart from the Dragon and Time Heirs, and it was one of the reasons the Dragon Heirs never accompanied them [Klaus and Aza] on these tasks. Odriel had forged the Shadows with a different metal.

She was adventurous and inquisitive, often going against the grain and doing things her father (the other Shadow Heir) told her not to for the sake of learning and growth. Because of this, we were introduced to some fantastic side characters and the Shadow Plane you all know I love from item 1 above.

I also loved how even though she was outwardly confident, she was well aware of her reputation and responsibilities as the Shadow Heir and she didn’t want to bring anyone down with her. If she had it her way, she would never involve anyone else unless the situation was dire, in an attempt to keep everyone safe from the issues at hand and herself.

You’re Odriel’s Assassin. You’re full of harm, whether you mean it or not.

Aza’s smile melted away. She missed that girl she had been. Back when the shadows were just a fun trick to make Makeo laugh. Now the shadows seemed to be all she was. Just darkness lined with good intentions…fleeing the dull ache of memories long gone and the echo of her mother’s voice reciting The Heir’s Way. And forever more, the Shadow Heir only danced with death.

Also, she was SUPER protective of those loyal to her, especially Makeo. Gods, the way she defended him and got totally pissed off when people judged him unfairly was just EVERYTHING! When the book opened and I thought it was posing Witt to be the Klaus in this story and then Makeo entered the story, I thought we were going to get a love triangle situation and I was shouting “IT BEST BE MAKEO!”.  

I hate to compare, but I liked her a lot more than Kaia from book 1. She was more outwardly confident and she had more edge to her. Now, I will caveat this with we know Kaia was stoned and bullied for her gifts growing up by her peers, whereas Aza grew up in the school her parents started, where their gifts were embraced. This is likely a HUGE factor in the personality difference between two badass women.

Makeo, our MMC and a Maldibor(!), was the perfect best friend and I was rooting for him to become the perfect book boyfriend the whole time! He was stable and comforting, strong and silent without being hard and cold. He was also super astute and knew her to a freaking T!

I loved these lines of his:

Makeo: “You’re as sharp as your knives, Aza.”

Aza: “Is that a bad thing?”

Makeo: “I’ll let you know when I catch the edge.”

Aza: “Sometimes I’m afraid the shadows have stained me.”

Makeo: “In the face of pain and fear, a heart will raise walls to protect itself. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a good heart.”

Aza: “There’s a thin line between a walled heart and a stone one. You can’t know which one it is until you see inside.”

Makeo: *whispers in her ear* “I see you, Aza Thane. And I will remind you as many times as you need to hear it. You don’t have to be alone.”


Witt was the hilarious comedic relief and he did such a good job of it! He was hilarious and knew just enough to get himself into trouble. He was also the only outwardly optimistic one in the group, which gave it a lighter tone than if it were just the other three. Without him, I could legit see myself feeling this was a dismal read. I honestly didn’t think I would even like him at the start of the book, but he slowly grew on me and wriggled his way into my heart (not past Makeo, but that says more about Makeo than Witt).

Shad was his perfect, snarky self, with a few more war wounds and an extra side of surly given his elongated servitude. I totally called that this damn cat was going to be around for all these books and I love it! Will he ever be free??? I’m dying to see his reunion with Everard and how that plays out.

Dorinar was back and was just so helpful all over again. I loved that his “assistant”/unconfirmed girlfriend, Marloa did not let him get away with ANYTHING! She put him in his place and he allowed her to, only further proving she was more than just an assistant.

Of course, we got to see our MCs from book 1, but in their capacity as parents who can still throw down.

3. This book did a good job introducing us to some of the history in this world that I wanted from book 1.

I will note, because of the background set in book 1, this book didn’t seem like there was as much history I felt we were missing. I’ve made peace with the items we don’t know (yet?) and appreciated the ground we did gain as far as history went.

4. Like the other books in this series so far, the action is phenomenally written.


Witt Corser had been a knot in her hair since they were kids, but his innkeeper father did a lot for Catalede. A usefulness that bought him approximately two minutes of civility.

And this is when I knew this girl was my kindred spirit!

            Worrying brings no answers.

True, but easier said than done.

“Draw your line in the sand, Keo, but don’t be surprised when it washes away.”


In this game, a coincidence was just a riddle she had yet to solve.

As a puzzle nerd, I love this!

“The difference between dead and alive is one day.”

Well that puts things into perspective!

“When in doubt, you’re already thinking twice as much as when you were certain.”

This is something I should definitely keep in mind daily.

“Control your mind first, and your body will follow.”

UGGGGGH the wisdom Chow gives is soooooo good. I should invest in a lot of sticky notes so I can post all of these near my work computer.

6. Like book 1, that cover is fantastic! I love the green, I love the skull, I love the knives. It’s all just REALLY doing it for me.

What could have been better:

1. I always want MORE with these stories! Seriously, Chow could right these as 500-600 page books and I would read them!

Final Thoughts:

Such a great installment to this series! My favorite so far!

Final Rating: 4.5 stars

Want to check out what else Hayley is working on? Hop on over to her social media accounts using the below.

Goodreads | Instagram | Website

While you’re at it, let’s be antisocial together!

Goodreads | Instagram | Gmail

Bitter Medicine by Mia Tsai

Hi All!

I hope everyone’s week is going well!

Have you ever felt like you came across a book at exactly the right time in your life? Like the stars aligned and you were meant to read something given your current frame of mind? Well, this week I read Bitter Medicine by Mia Tsai and I fell absolutely in love! Seriously, this author now has my undying loyalty for all future releases at this point.

So, what’s so great about it? Let’s find out!

Genre:  Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal

Publication Date: March 14, 2023

Edelweiss Blurb:

In this inspired contemporary fantasy, a Chinese immortal and a French elf try to balance new romance, familial loyalty, and workplace demands. In her debut novel, Taiwanese American author Mia Tsai has created an unforgettable paranormal adventure that is full of humor, passion, and depth.

As a descendant of the Chinese god of medicine, ignored middle child Elle was destined to be a doctor. Instead, she is underemployed as a mediocre magical calligrapher at the fairy temp agency. Nevertheless, she challenges herself by covertly outfitting Luc, her client and crush, with high-powered glyphs.

Half-elf Luc, the agency’s top security expert, has his own secret: he’s responsible for a curse laid from an old assignment. To heal them, he’ll need to perform his job duties with unrelenting excellence and earn time off from his tyrannical boss.

When Elle saves Luc’s life, they begin a dangerous collaboration, but their chemistry blooms. Happiness, for once, is an option for them both. But Elle is loyal to her family, and Luc is bound by his true name. To win freedom from duty, they must make unexpected sacrifices.

What I liked about the book:

1. That cover is gorgeous! I love the deep, luscious blue color accented with the cream-colored lettering. I love the juxtaposition of the sweet embrace against the chaos of a busy city background. And I especially love how this couple already has me seeing their HEA with just the cover! Add to all of this the deep backwards v-neckline, the couple of tchotchkes, and the promise of heartache, and you have yourself a winning cover in my opinion!

2. I loved that the author dedicated this book, her debut novel, to herself! The dedication simply reads:

            “To me, because I could.”

Yes, girl! Damn right you can, and you SHOULD! Love it!

3. I absolutely adored the writing style. It was lite, it was cheeky, and yet it had tension bubbling beneath the surface I couldn’t wait to dive into.

Mia Tsai did a great job weaving in background information without making it stunt the flow of the writing. She also did a fantastic job of creating the romantic tension that comes from two people totally into each other, probably knowing the other is into them, and yet not acting on it. The whole will-they-won’t-they was so masterfully done from the very first couple of pages that it hooked me until they finally did.

4. I loved the amount of worldbuilding and magic present in this story. It definitely had an old-school mythological feel to it, given all the background, the gifts individuals had, and the talk of Gods. It also gave me the same feels I typically have when reading mythology that is new to me, in that I trusted the author implicitly to get me to the end of the journey knowing she would answer my questions in due time. I can easily say, I do not have this kind of patience for any other genre.  

5. These characters were easy to love!

Elle was a humble, peacekeeper type who was just plain adorable! Not to mention, she was the least selfish individual I have read in a while. She sacrificed her life every day just to make sure her family stayed alive, even though they were basically all trying to kill each other. Downgrading her job, downplaying her skills, allowing herself no romantic or even friendly relationships (outside of her best friend which is still strained), and committing herself to a life of drabness, she was perfectly content as long as she was loyal to her family.

Enter Luc…Luc was a trained killer, known for having no personality (aka never letting anyone in), yet he let that baby shine with Elle! He invoked the badass with a heart of gold persona so freaking well! Loved him and loved him for Elle! When he was around, she reminded me of all the feelings you have as a young person falling in love: the giddiness, the stupid jokes, the blushing…awwwwwwww I definitely got the heart flutters reading this one!

Furthermore, I loved watching their characters unfold for the reader as they did for the other MC. It was fun getting to discover more about Elle and Luc as they discovered things about each other.

Ok, let’s talk about Tony. What a ham! Dude was totally in love with himself in the most humorous way possible, and even gifted Elle a “housewarming” gift of a picture of himself! As much as he loved himself, the reader could see just how much he loved his little sister and was loyal to her like no other. Check out this snip from his conversation with Luc:

If you’re serious about her, you need to show it. No half-assing. She deserves the best, and if you aren’t willing to do that, you can kindly fuck off. She’ll get over you eventually.

6. The amount of representation in this story was insane! Tony was gay, Luc was bi-sexual, Pei’s (a co-worker of Luc’s) preferred pronouns were they/them and I eagle-eyed their sections to make sure there were no slips into she/her. We also were gifted with an interracial relationship between Elle who was Chinese and Luc who was White, Elle’s best friend was a lesbian and Black, and there were several call outs to racist bosses/clients/etc. showing that this representation was no accident; this was clearly planned to show representation for so many groups. I absolutely loved the thought that went into this; It didn’t feel like the author was just trying to check the diversity factor box.

7. I loved how there were so many people in this book that there is definitely room for more stories. Spinoff potential is a huge plus in my book, and this one definitely had it!

8. So many fantastic lines and scenes!

Just because it’s the truth doesn’t mean she has to be reasonable.

Oh Gods, that hits close to home

He’s going to seduce her with caretaking. Of all the paths he could take, like accidentally getting too close and oops! kissing her, or doing that stretch that shows stomach between shirt and waistband, he’s chosen mother henning. This is how Elle knows she’s gotten old.

I mean, same girl. Same.

Luc: Is an hour enough time to prepare?

Elle: Yeah, I just need to get dressed and put my hair up.

Luc: I think you look nicer with it down.

Elle: Um. Thank you. I’d return the compliment, but your hair isn’t long enough to put up.

Luc: Would you believe that it was, once upon a time?

Elle: No way!

Luc: Long hair isn’t practical for what I do. But yes, when I was much younger, I had hair to my shoulders.

Elle: *giggles* I bet you were so pretty.

Luc: Perhaps, but you’ll always have me beat in that department.

Elle: *mouth drops open*

– This whole scene is just beautiful, but 1. him with long hair? That’s incredibly hot! I definitely like guys that can rock the long hair look. 2. This compliment had me reacting the same but with a blush as well!

There’s no question he wants answered more than how she likes her pleasure, no directive more pressing than how good he can make her feel…”Tell me how to touch you,” he whispers into her ear.


“Lovely,” Luc murmurs between her gasps, holding her hips, grinding her down until the base of him stretches her to the brink.

Elle doesn’t want to be lovely. She wants to be fucking destroyed. She wants to be destroyed with him and by him…


What could have been better:

1. Ok, one of the only things I didn’t like about this book was how loooooong most of the chapters were. When I see a chapter is going to take me over 15 minutes to read, I die a little on the inside and reconsider my life choices that lead me to a book. I don’t have an attention-span problem, but I DO have a commitment phobia. I can sit and read 3 to 5 minutes chapters like candy for hours on end, but as soon as I see a 20-minute chapter I’m like “Wait, what? That’s, like, 1/3 of an hour, or 1/5 of a typical film length. But I have shit to do!” when I very well know that shit will not be done regardless.

With that said, I did finish the book in one day, but only because it was so good. If this book had lacked in ANY areas I typically rate a book on, it would have been hard to keep reading with chapter lengths involving that type of commitment.

2. The only other thing I think could have been better revolved around the villains.

I wish more time was spent on William, Elle’s younger brother. I feel for how villainous he was, we really didn’t get a lot of present-day insight into him. On one hand, I totally understood his motives and why he was doing what he was doing; on the other hand, I obviously didn’t want him to win given what that would mean. But his “ending” did leave some mixed feelings for me. What will the future hold? What was Lily’s backstory? Will there be a second book to clear this up???

Overall, I think there was a missed opportunity for developing a robust character in William, probably because the story was stretched between two villains.

Speaking of which, unless there is a second book in the works for these characters, I feel we missed out on how that ending impacted Oberon, Luc’s boss. Throughout the entire thing I had a really bad feeling that Luc was related to or somehow affiliated with Oberon in a way that he wasn’t aware of, but we never find out where Oberon ends up after Luc’s last stunt. Again, I’m really, really hoping there will be another book that follows these characters, but with perhaps a different set of main characters, in which this can be resolved.  

Final Thoughts:

I’m going to be honest: this one caught me by surprise. I expected to like this book, but I couldn’t help but love it. Check it out as soon as you can!

Final Rating:  4.5 stars

Huge thank you to Edelweiss, Tachyon Publications, and Mia Tsai for the free copy of this book. My above review is honest and voluntary.

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