Monday, September 17, 2018

Review: Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep

Title: Kill the Queen
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Book One in the Crown of Shards Series
Genre: Fantasy
Published By: Harper Voyager (October 2, 2018)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 5 Stars!

Book Description:
Gladiator meets Game of Thrones: a royal woman becomes a skilled warrior to destroy her murderous cousin, avenge her family, and save her kingdom in this first entry in a dazzling fantasy epic from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Elemental Assassin series—an enthralling tale that combines magic, murder, intrigue, adventure, and a hint of romance.

In a realm where one’s magical power determines one’s worth, Lady Everleigh’s lack of obvious ability relegates her to the shadows of the royal court of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. Seventeenth in line for the throne, Evie is nothing more than a ceremonial fixture, overlooked and mostly forgotten.

But dark forces are at work inside the palace. When her cousin Vasilia, the crown princess, assassinates her mother the queen and takes the throne by force, Evie is also attacked, along with the rest of the royal family. Luckily for Evie, her secret immunity to magic helps her escape the massacre.

Forced into hiding to survive, she falls in with a gladiator troupe. Though they use their talents to entertain and amuse the masses, the gladiators are actually highly trained warriors skilled in the art of war, especially Lucas Sullivan, a powerful magier with secrets of his own. Uncertain of her future—or if she even has one—Evie begins training with the troupe until she can decide her next move.

But as the bloodthirsty Vasilia exerts her power, pushing Bellona to the brink of war, Evie’s fate becomes clear: she must become a fearsome gladiator herself . . . and kill the queen.

It truly is hard to put down any book Estep writes but I have to say, Kill The Queen is one that was impossible to put down. From the very first few bloody chapters right up until the spectacular ending, I knew that this was going to be a series I wanted, no, needed, more of. 

Right from the beginning this screams Estep with the classic allure of both food references and bloody fight scenes along with a strong female MC that you just know is going to kick butt and take names along the way. 

I absolutely adored not only the originality in this but the pure awesomeness of, well, everything. The setting has this almost historic fantasy feel to it that sets it apart from others in the genre. With a flare of magic and adventure it really was so very hard to resist. 

I am on edge for the next book to see where it will go from here. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Release Day Review: The Lantern's Ember by Colleen Houck

Title: The Lantern's Ember
Author: Colleen Houck
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published By: Delacorte Press (September 11, 2018)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 3 Stars

Book Description:
Welcome to a world where nightmarish creatures reign supreme.

Five hundred years ago, Jack made a deal with the devil. It’s difficult for him to remember much about his mortal days. So, he focuses on fulfilling his sentence as a Lantern—one of the watchmen who guard the portals to the Otherworld, a realm crawling with every nightmarish creature imaginable. Jack has spent centuries jumping from town to town, ensuring that nary a mortal—or not-so-mortal—soul slips past him. That is, until he meets beautiful Ember O’Dare. 

Seventeen, stubborn, and a natural-born witch, Ember feels a strong pull to the Otherworld. Undeterred by Jack’s warnings, she crosses into the forbidden plane with the help of a mysterious and debonair vampire—and the chase through a dazzling, dangerous world is on. Jack must do everything in his power to get Ember back where she belongs before both the earthly and unearthly worlds descend into chaos.

If there is one thing that Colleen Houck can do well is write an imaginative story rich in lore and detail and her latest release doesn't disappoint.

Full of twists on classic tales and stories as well as old time-y lore, The Lantern's Ember is one that will be sure to capture your attention and hold it to the very last page. 

Full of witch craft, magic, and adventure with a slight steam punk edge, this really was a unique story that didn't take long to read and was perfect for a cozy afternoon in the sun and will be perfect for fans looking for a story that has a fun spin on a Halloween classic. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Monday, September 10, 2018

Blog Tour Book Review: The Guests on South Battery By Karen White

I have come to love and respect what Karen White can do with not only a good mystery but a good ghostly tale as well. One that always leaves me with chills on my arms and wanting to leave the lights on at night. Her latest, The Guests on South Battery, does not disappoint.

Title: The Guests on South Battery
Author; Karen White
Series: Book Five in the Tradd Street Series
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Published By: Berkley (August 28, 2018)
Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Description:

Karen White invites you to explore the brick-walked streets of Charleston in her fifth Tradd Street novel, where historic mansions house the memories of years gone by, and restless spirits refuse to fade away...

With her extended maternity leave at its end, Melanie Trenholm is less than thrilled to leave her new husband and beautiful twins to return to work, especially when she’s awoken by a phone call with no voice on the other end—and the uneasy feeling that the ghostly apparitions that have stayed silent for more than a year are about to invade her life once more. 

But her return to the realty office goes better than she could have hoped, with a new client eager to sell the home she recently inherited on South Battery. Most would treasure living in one of the grandest old homes in the famous historic district of Charleston, but Jayne Smith would rather sell hers as soon as possible, guaranteeing Melanie a quick commission. 

Despite her stroke of luck, Melanie can’t deny that spirits—both malevolent and benign—have started to show themselves to her again. One is shrouded from sight, but appears whenever Jayne is near. Another arrives when an old cistern is discovered in Melanie’s backyard on Tradd Street. 

Melanie knows nothing good can come from unearthing the past. But some secrets refuse to stay buried.... 

About the Author:

With more than 1.8 million books in print in eight different languages, Karen White is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 23 novels, including the popular Charleston-set Tradd Street mystery series.

Raised in a house full of brothers, Karen’s love of books and strong female characters first began in the third grade when the local librarian issued her a library card and placed The Secret of the Old Clock, a Nancy Drew Mystery, in her hands.

Karen’s roots run deep in the South where many of her novels are set. Her intricate plot lines and compelling characters charm and captivate readers with just the right mix of family drama, mystery, intrigue and romance.

Not entirely convinced she wanted to be a writer, Karen first pursued a career in business and graduated cum laude with a BS in Management from Tulane University. Ten years later, in a weak moment, she wrote her first book. In the Shadow of the Moon was published in August, 2000. Her books—referred to as “grit lit” (Southern Women’s Fiction)—have since been nominated for numerous national contests including the SIBA (Southeastern Booksellers Alliance) Fiction Book of the Year.

Karen White is known for her creepy stories that will keep you up at night but I must say she outdid herself in her latest release.

White knows how to write an atmospheric story rich in Charleston history, with ghosts, both benign and malevolent around every spooky dark corner that will constantly keep you both engrossed in the storyline and on edge constantly jumping at small sounds and looking over your shoulder making sure no one is there.

Even though I haven't read the other books in the series, it took me no time at all to sink into the story comfortably without feeling like I was missing huge gaps on background or character development and I love that I was able to do that with such ease. 

This story truly was done so well with mysteries unraveling as quickly as the ghosts were appearing. One that had me stopping every now and then simply because I had to turn on more lights and reassure myself that no one was breathing over my shoulder watching me.

A creepy delight that had me turning the pages and left me wanting more from Melanie and her friends and family. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Top Fall Reads I Can't Wait To Get My Hands On

It's been awhile, okay, a long while since I've done a post like this and to be honest, with crazy life things happening this past year, I feel a little out of the loop with new releases. I thought it might be fun to play catch up and post about all those wonderful books that I do know are coming out and share them with you all. Maybe you will find something new as well to be excited about. 

Without further ado, here are mt top fall reads I can't wait to read:

Even though I'm two books behind on this series, I've loved it from the beginning and can't wait to see how it all ends. It's been one exciting, kick butt ride. 

I'm always a sucker for a good witch story and combine that with the historical aspect I love and you have me frothing at the mouth. 

I can't even begin to tell you how much I adore this series. It's just everything I love in a historical mystery. Plus I love the twist on the Sherlock Homes angle. And, come on , look at that cover, it is gorgeous, they all are. 

Estep is one of my favorite authors in both YA and in UF and I'm so excited that she has a new series coming out and a UF one at that. I can't wait to read it!

Okay so technically, I'm not waiting for this one because I already got an ARC of it and devoured it but, I had to post about it anyways because it was so freaking good. Barnes always delivers in her books  but I think this series is going to be a favorite. Both my older girls read this and read it in one sitting, they both loved it so much and they rarely agree on books anymore so, win win for me. 

Another series I loved after the very first book and the second was even better. Can't wait to see what the author has in store for the next installment. If you haven't tried this series yet, I can't recommend it enough. 

I'm a sucker for retellings with a twist even though they rarely work out for me but I love White's work and if anyone can pull this one off, I think she can. Can't wait to see if I'm right or not! Has anyone read it yet?

If you've read this writing duo before then you understand why I can't pass this one up. If you haven't read them, do it. So so good! 

This author's debut series was amazing so I can't wait to see what this one will be like. Her stories are rich in detail and lore and I bet this will be just the same.

So what are you anticipating this fall? Which books did I miss that you think I should know about? 

Monday, September 3, 2018

Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Title: Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating
Author: Christina Lauren
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Contemporary
Published By: Gallery Books (September 4, 2018)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 5 Stars!

Book Description:
Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them...right?

Is there anything better than a Christina Lauren novel? Maybe but the truth of the matter is, when you open one up all thoughts of anything better are long gone because you just know that whatever is written inside, is going to be a real treat and far better than anything else you could have planned for the day.

I have to say, Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating just might be my favorite Christina Lauren book to date.

It was so much fun, Hazel, was just so much fun. And I'm pretty sure I need someone like her in my life. 

Josh and Hazel's budding friendship was just...perfect. I loved every single second of the relationship they built with each other. From the quirky blind dates to the just hanging out watching TV. These two were so much fun to see and be able to get inside their heads. I truly read this in one sitting in a couple of hours and was so sad when it was over.

I wish I would have prolonged it a little bit longer and made it last but I couldn't help it, I just adored these two and couldn't get enough of them. 

Truly an outstanding read that I loved every single page of. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Friday, August 31, 2018

Blog Tour Review: Sadie by Courtney Summers

Title: Sadie
Author: Courtney Summers
Release Date: September 4, 2018
Published By: St. Martins/Wednesday Books
Source: ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

ISBN: 9781250105714| Ebook ISBN: 9781250105721
For more information or to set up an interview with the author, contact:
Brittani Hilles at or 646-307-5558

Or Meghan Harrington at or 646-307-5556

Book Description:
A gripping novel about the depth of a sister's love; poised to be the next book you won't be able to stop talking about.

A missing girl on a journey of revenge and a Serial-like podcast following the clues she's left behind. 

Sadie hasn't had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she's been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. 

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie's entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister's killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie's story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie's journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it's too late.

Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page. 

More about THE GIRLS podcast:
THE GIRLS: Find Sadie is the first-ever YA thriller podcast. The Serial-like show is based off the novel Sadie by Courtney
Summers. In a brilliant move, Summers scripted periodic chapters of the novel like a podcast script, hosted by fictional
radio personality West McCray. The six-part podcast series brings these chapters to life with a 30+ person cast, music,
and sound effects and was a collaboration between Macmillan Audio, Macmillan Podcasts, and Wednesday Books.
Episode 1 launches on August 1st, and the show will air seven weekly episodes available on all the major podcast

platforms. The final episode will feature a bonus interview with Courtney Summers and her editor Sara Goodman.

About the Author:

Courtney Summers was born in Belleville, Ontario, 1986. At age 14, she dropped out of high school. At age 18, she wrote her first novel. Cracked Up to Be was published in 2008, when she was 22 and went on to win the 2009 CYBIL award in YA fiction. Since then, she’s published four more critically acclaimed books: Some Girls Are, Fall for Anything, This is Not a Test and All the Rage, as well as an e-novella, Please Remain Calm which is a sequel to This is Not a Test. Her new novel, Sadie, hits bookstores September 4th, 2018 and is available for preorder now. In 2016, Courtney was named one of Flare Magazine’s 60 under 30. 

Filled with twisty turns and events you don't see coming, Sadie is probably one of the best mysteries I've read by Summers, not just this year, but ever and has definitely made my top ten reads this year.

Filled with so much love and hate and the need to make things right, Sadie will have you eagerly turning the pages gobbling up ever delicious turn of events and reveals so fast that they will leave your head spinning and wishing that you would have savored it just a bit more by the time to come to the heartbreaking last page. 

Truly a stand out mystery not only about two sisters and their need to survive, but about family love that comes in all shapes, sizes and circumstances. A book that will leave you breathless and somewhat heartbroken by the end in all the very best ways that Summer knows how to. 

A must read for everyone. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Monday, August 27, 2018

Review: Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allan

Title: Her Name Was Rose
Author: Claire Allan
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Published By: Avon (September 4, 2018)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Book Description:
Her name was Rose. You watched her die. And her death has created a vacancy. 

When Emily lets a stranger step out in front of her, she never imagines that split second will change her life. But after Emily watches a car plough into the young mother – killing her instantly – she finds herself unable to move on.

And then she makes a decision she can never take back.

Because Rose had everything Emily had ever dreamed of. A beautiful, loving family, a great job and a stunning home. And now Rose’s husband misses his wife, and their son needs a mother. Why couldn’t Emily fill that space?

But as Emily is about to discover, no one’s life is perfect … and not everything is as it seems.

Sometimes you pick up a story and are immediately just drawn to it. To the story and mystery that is slowly unfolding. To the what ifs and the complete mystery of it all. Such was the case of Her Name Was Rose.

I love something that will not only completely captivate me but keep me on edge guessing right up until the very end. Just when I thought I had it all figured out the author would throw in a twist or turn that would have me second guessing everything and I couldn't of loved it more. 

With it's slightly sinister feel Her Name Was Rose will have you eagerly turning the pages wondering what crazy and unexplained thing will happen next. You will be completely wrapped up in the story after the very first chapter and as the story progresses, that power it holds over you will only get worse. You will forget everything and become completely consumed with the story, eager to get to the very last page. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*