Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Blog Tour Review: The Art of Theft by Sherry Thomas

You guys, I love this series. No, I adore this series. It has been so good from the very beginning and truly has just gotten more so as it goes. If you are a lover of historicals, romance, mysteries, or well, anything really, give this series a try, you won't be disappointed. 

Title: The Art of Theft
Author: Sherry Thomas
Series: Book Four in the Lady Sherlock Series
Genre: Historical Mystery
Published By: Berkley (October 15, 2019)
Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Description:
Charlotte Holmes, Lady Sherlock, is back solving new cases in the Victorian-set mystery series from the USA Today bestselling author of The Hollow of Fear.

As "Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective," Charlotte Holmes has solved murders and found missing individuals. But she has never stolen a priceless artwork—or rather, made away with the secrets hidden behind a much-coveted canvas.

But Mrs. Watson is desperate to help her old friend recover those secrets and Charlotte finds herself involved in a fever-paced scheme to infiltrate a glamorous Yuletide ball where the painting is one handshake away from being sold and the secrets a bare breath from exposure.

Her dear friend Lord Ingram, her sister Livia, Livia's admirer Stephen Marbleton—everyone pitches in to help and everyone has a grand time. But nothing about this adventure is what it seems and disaster is biding time on the grounds of a glittering French chateau, waiting only for Charlotte to make a single mistake... 

About the Author:

Because actual world domination is too much trouble, USA Today-bestselling author Sherry Thomas decided that her goal is life is to write every kind of book she enjoys reading. Thus far she has published romance, fantasy, mystery, and a wuxia-inspired duology. Her books regularly receive starred reviews and best-of-the-year honors from trade publications, including such outlets as the New York Times and National Public Radio. She is also a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award.

And by the way, English is her second language.

The Lady Sherlock series has been a loved series from the very beginning. In fact, I would even go as far as to say it is one of my most, if not my most, favorite series in the genre. It is just so much fun, always entertaining, so well written and I love the growth and mystery of all the characters. 

The mystery is always center stage but the relationships and love interest are a close second and I love that, especially after book three were we get just a little bit more of it all. 

And with the way book three went, I was honestly expecting this one to run along the same lines relationship wise and sadly, it just didn't. It seemed for every step forward the characters made with each other there was always two steps back that lead them even further away from one another, which was disheartening and honestly, made the story seem less some how. I was really looking forward to the romance becoming more and in almost all cases, it didn't.

However, the mystery and characters themselves were outstanding and once again Thomas' writing is enchanting and you can't help but get sucked right into the story and left wanting more. 

I can only hope with that ending, that we will get more of that little extra something so many of us are rooting and hoping for in book five. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Promo Post and Giveaway: The Last Dragon by James Riley

Today the fun and highly anticipated middle grade fantasy story, The Last Dragon, sequel to The Revenge of Magic  releases today and one lucky winner (US Only)  will get a copy of both books! 

Title: The Last Dragon
Author: James Riley
Series: Book Two in the Revenge for Magic Series
Genre: MG Fantasy
Published By: Aladdin (October 8, 2019)

Book Description:
Fort Fitzgerald is determined to uncover the truth, but a new student at school and the secrets he has to keep complicate matters in this second novel in a thrilling new series from the author of the New York Times bestselling Story Thieves!

Fort Fitzgerald can’t stop having nightmares about the day his father was taken from him in an attack on Washington, DC. In these dreams, an Old One, an evil beyond comprehension, demands the location of the last dragon. But other than some dragon skeletons dug up with the books of magic on Discovery Day, Fort has never seen a dragon before. Could there still be one left alive?

And weirdly, Fort’s not the only one at the Oppenheimer School having these nightmares. His new roommate, Gabriel, seems to know more than he’s letting on about this dragon as well. And why does everyone at the school seem to do whatever Gabriel says? What’s his secret?

Fort’s going to need the help of his friends Cyrus, Jia, and Rachel, if he’s going to have any chance of keeping the Old Ones from returning to Earth. Unless, the Old Ones offer something Fort could never turn down… 

About the Author:

James Riley is the New York Times bestelling author of the HALF UPON A TIME series, the STORY THIEVES series, and the REVENGE OF MAGIC series. Contrary to what previous biographies have stated, he is a) real and b) not the character Nobody from his STORY THIEVES books. Where would people even get that idea? (Spoiler: From him. He totally made it sound like he really was Nobody. He thought it’d be funny. We’re sorry.) 

He was born in Connecticut, where he lived for only a short time before moving to … well, quite a few states. He currently lives in Northern Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C., because that’s where his cats are. He has four of them. Other people think that’s a bit much. 

James is currently working on getting REVENGE OF MAGIC books out every six months, so he might be a little busy. But feel free to e-mail him with questions at jamesrileythatwriterguy@gmail.com, or ask on his blog. You can also write to him through the mail, but he takes FOREVER to get back to you that way, so he really does suggest e-mail instead. Still, if you want to risk it, send letters to him at:

James Riley
c/o Aladdin Publicity Department 
Simon & Schuster, Inc. 
1230 Avenue of the Americas 
New York, NY 10020 


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Monday, October 7, 2019

Review: Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

Title: Twice in a Blue Moon
Author: Christina Lauren
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Contemporary
Published By: Gallery Books (October 22, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description: 
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners and the “delectable, moving” (Entertainment Weekly) My Favorite Half-Night Stand comes a modern love story about what happens when your first love reenters your life when you least expect it…

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

I don't think I have tried a Christina Lauren book that I haven't either seriously liked or even been a little bit in love with but, every once in awhile I will come along one that really resonates with me for whatever reason. I can have nothing in common with the heroine and know nothing about her situation or world but yet...I feel connected to her. I get her. I understand her and most of all, I feel for her. Tate is one such character.

I know nothing about being an actress or having a famous father or even about her heartbreak but yet, I feel like I know her and she could very well be me simply because I just....get her. 

These two authors really do have an amazing ability to bring characters to life. Their situations and experiences to feel real and believable no matter how far fetched or out there they are from our own and for that reason alone, they are authors that you come back to time and time again. 

*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 23, 2019

Blog Tour Review: Unearthed by Cecy Robson

I am a huge Cecy fan and I was so excited when I saw that she was coming out with a new series, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. You guys, this book was amazing! You need to read it!

 Title: Unearthed
Author: Cecy Robson
Series: Book One in the Death Seeker Series
Published: September 24, 2019

Book Description:
Fae was once a flourishing paradise. Until Death turned greedy and destroyed it, targeting the creatures who inhabited it. Those who survived escaped to Earth’s realm, but Death wasn’t far behind . . .

Olivia Finn is just another pixie trying to blend in among humans and hide from the death hounds who devoured her family. Clinging to the talisman that keeps her veiled from those who hunt her, she believes she is safe. . .. Until Death finds her and discovers she’s immune to its grip.

Now that Olivia’s power is unearthed, she is sought by Fae who see her as their savior and stalked by dark entities compelled to destroy her. Can she trust the King of the Dead who has sworn to train and protect her? Or should she obey her instincts that warn he desires more?

Olivia can no longer hide from Death. To survive, she must seek it. 

About the Author:

CECY ROBSON is an author of contemporary romance, young adult adventure, and award-winning urban fantasy. A double RITA® 2016 finalist for Once Pure and Once Kissed, and a published author of more than eighteen titles, you can typically find her on her laptop writing her stories or stumbling blindly in search of caffeine.

There doesn't seem to be a whole lot that Cecy Robson can't write, which is why not only is she one of my most favorite authors but also why I quickly grab every book from her I possible can. I also know, regardless of the genre or the topic, she will do it well and do it justice.

I normally shy away from books about the fae, with a few exceptions because most of them are so overdone and the same old same old but knowing what Robson can do with the mundane and same old same old, had me picking this up without hesitation and thankfully, once again, Robson pulled through and delivered something original and fun and oh so hard to put down.

I devoured this. Every. Single. Page. And just couldn't get enough. I was so sad when it ended and was already on the lookout for the next book. I can't wait for more, I so was not ready for this one to be over. I love these characters, this world, the concept and well, really, everything. Once again Robson blew it out of the park and created something that everyone can enjoy, lover of the fae or not. 

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Monday, September 16, 2019

Review: The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox

Title: The Widow of Pale Harbor
Author: Hester Fox
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Historical/Fantasy
Published By: Graydon House (September 17, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
A town gripped by fear. A woman accused of witchcraft. Who can save Pale Harbor from itself?

Maine, 1846. Gabriel Stone is desperate to escape the ghosts that haunt him in Massachusetts after his wife’s death, so he moves to Maine, taking a position as a minister in the remote village of Pale Harbor.

But not all is as it seems in the sleepy town. Strange, unsettling things have been happening, and the townspeople claim that only one person can be responsible: Sophronia Carver, a reclusive widow who lives with a spinster maid in the eerie Castle Carver. Sophronia must be a witch, and she almost certainly killed her husband.

As the incidents escalate, one thing becomes clear: they are the work of a twisted person inspired by the wildly popular stories of Mr. Edgar Allan Poe. And Gabriel must find answers, or Pale Harbor will suffer a fate worthy of Poe’s darkest tales.

Hester Fox wowed me last year with her debut so it was easy to pick up her next book The Widow of Pale Harbor. And while I did love her sophomore book with all it's mystery and intrigue it didn't quite have the paranormal aspect that I was hoping it would. Having said that though, it was still such a fun and atmospheric read and I couldn't help but eagerly turn the pages to know more about Sophy and the town and all that was transpiring.

With references to Poe and darkness and death abound, I truly did enjoy this read and think that fans of Fox's debut, will feel the same and have just as much love for this one as they did the other. 

*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 10, 2019

Blog Tour Release Day Review: The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis

Title: The Vanished Bride
Author: Bella Ellis
Series: Book One in the Bronte Sisters Mystery Series
Genre: Historical Mystery
Published By: Berkley (September 10, 2019)
Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Description:
Before they became legendary writers, Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, and Anne Brontë were detectors in this charming historical mystery...

Yorkshire, 1845. A young wife and mother has gone missing from her home, leaving behind two small children and a large pool of blood. Just a few miles away, a humble parson's daughters--the Brontë sisters--learn of the crime. Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë are horrified and intrigued by the mysterious disappearance.

These three creative, energetic, and resourceful women quickly realize that they have all the skills required to make for excellent "lady detectors." Not yet published novelists, they have well-honed imaginations and are expert readers. And, as Charlotte remarks, "detecting is reading between the lines--it's seeing what is not there."

As they investigate, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne are confronted with a society that believes a woman's place is in the home, not scouring the countryside looking for clues. But nothing will stop the sisters from discovering what happened to the vanished bride, even as they find their own lives are in great peril... 

About the Author:

It is always fun to have something a bit different than the norm. Something that is fun, entertaining, and stands out from your typical historical mysteries. The Vanished Bride managed to do all of those things and also added a bit of realism along the way.

Set in a time when the Bronte sisters still roamed the Earth, The Vanished Bride gives us a curious look at maybe what made them not only fantastic writers but maybe where all their imagination and ingenious ideas came from as well as giving us a fantastical mystery ripe with intrigue, secrets, and murder and with just a touch of the paranormal and unexplained.  

Perfect for lovers of historical fiction as well as lover's of the Bronte sisters themselves. The Vanished Bride will keep you turing the pages and wondering what kind of adventures and secrets they will uncover next.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Review: The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan by Sherry Thomas

Title: Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan
Author: Sherry Thomas
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Retelling
Published By: Tu Books (September 10, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 5 Solid Stars!!

Book Description:
CHINA, 484 A.D.

A Warrior in Disguise
All her life, Mulan has trained for one purpose: to win the duel that every generation in her family must fight. If she prevails, she can reunite a pair of priceless heirloom swords separated decades earlier, and avenge her father, who was paralyzed in his own duel.

Then a messenger from the Emperor arrives, demanding that all families send one soldier to fight the Rouran invaders in the north. Mulan's father cannot go. Her brother is just a child. So she ties up her hair, takes up her sword, and joins the army as a man.

A War for a Dynasty
Thanks to her martial arts skills, Mulan is chosen for an elite team under the command of the princeling--the royal duke's son, who is also the handsomest man she's ever seen. But the princeling has secrets of his own, which explode into Mulan's life and shake up everything she knows. As they cross the Great Wall to face the enemy beyond, Mulan and the princeling must find a way to unwind their past, unmask a traitor, and uncover the plans for the Rouran invasion . . . before it's too late.

Inspired by wuxia martial-arts dramas as well as the centuries-old ballad of Mulan, The Magnolia Sword is perfect for fans of Renee Ahdieh, Marie Lu, or Kristin Cashore--a thrilling, romantic, and sharp-edged novel that lives up to its beloved heroine. 

If there was one person I knew I could trust to do a retelling of the Mulan ballad, it would be Sherry Thomas. 

I am so pleased to say that trust wasn't misplaced because not only was this an incredible read but it was captivating, entertaining and had enough of Sherry's creative imagination added to the story that it almost felt like it could stand up all on it's own and not even be a retelling, while still maintaining the integrity of the original. It short, it was breathtaking. 

So hard to put down, so beautifully done, and so completely addicting. I truly did not want this story to end and I loved every heart stopping, heart warming, heart pounding page of it.

*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 3, 2019

Release Day Review: The Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Title: The Serpent & Dove
Author: Shelby Mahurin
Series: Book One in the Serpent & Dove Series
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published By: HarperTeen (September 3, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 5 Stars!

Book Description:
Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou's, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou's most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all. 

I need to start this review by saying, although this is labeled as YA, it does not feel YA...like at all. In fact, if it wasn't for the fact that they are marketing it as such, I wouldn't of even believed it was. 

This story was amazing. All my favorite fantasy tropes and romance tropes all balled into one amazing, original and entertaining ride. 

Love the premises, the characters, the tropes, the magical and sometimes very dark world, and the very fact that I just couldn't get enough of this. I didn't want it to end and I certainly don't want to wait months for the next book. I truly was saddened to see this be over and had a book hangover like no other. 

This year has definitely not only been the year for YA to make a strong come back but for YA Fantasy to make one hell of a break through with more originality, more substance, and more action packed kick butt heroines than ever before. 

I truly am on edge to see where the author takes this series and eager for anything else she writes. She did an amazing job breaking into the world of YA. I never would have guessed this was a debut novel. Beautiful writing, a beautiful world, outstanding memorable characters and a unique enough premises to keep anyone reading, turning pages and left wanting more. 

*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 2, 2019

Blog Tour Review: The Passengers by John Marrs

Title: The Passengers
Author: John Marrs
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Thriller
Published By: Berkley (August 27, 2019)
Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Description:
You're riding in your self-driving car when suddenly the doors lock, the route changes and you have lost all control. Then, a mysterious voice tells you, "You are going to die." 

Just as self-driving cars become the trusted, safer norm, eight people find themselves in this terrifying situation, including a faded TV star, a pregnant young woman, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife, and a suicidal man.

From cameras hidden in their cars, their panic is broadcast to millions of people around the world. But the public will show their true colors when they are asked, "Which of these people should we save?...And who should we kill first?" 

About the Author:

John Marrs is the author of The One, The Good Samaritan, When You Disappeared, Her Last Move and Welcome to Wherever You Are. 

A former freelance journalist based in London, England, he spent twenty-five years interviewing celebrities from the world of television, film and music for national newspapers and magazines until becoming a full-time author in 2018.

He has written for publications including the Guardian’s Guide and Guardian Online, Total Film, Huffington Post, Empire, Q, GT, the Independent, S Magazine and Company.

His books have been translated into twenty different languages and The One is soon to be a major new Netflix series.

A fast paced heart pounding thriller that will leave you on the edge of your seat as it takes you from one wicked twist and turn to another. The Passengers is a blend of  realism mixed with sci fi that we can all envision in the not too distant future which is what makes this so very believable, captivating and hard to put down.

If you are looking for something different that will get your mind turning, your heart pounding and at times, on the edge of your seat, this is definitely something you should consider picking up. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Review: A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth

Title: A Treason of Thorns
Author: Laura E. Weymouth
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published By: HarperTeen (September 10, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
Violet Sterling has spent the last seven years in exile, longing to return to Burleigh House. One of the six great houses of England, Burleigh’s magic always kept the countryside well. And as a child, this magic kept Violet happy, draping her in flowers while she slept, fashioning secret hiding places for her, and lighting fires on the coldest nights to keep her warm.

Everything shattered, though, when her father committed high treason trying to free Burleigh from the king’s oppressive control. He was killed, and Vi was forced into hiding.

When she’s given a chance to go back, she discovers Burleigh has run wild with grief. Vines and briars are crumbling the walls. Magic that once enriched the surrounding countryside has turned dark and deadly, twisting lush blooms into thorns, poisoning livestock and destroying crops. Burleigh’s very soul is crying out in pain.

Vi would do anything to help, and soon she finds herself walking the same deadly path as her father all those years before. Vi must decide how far she’s willing to go to save her house—before her house destroys everything she’s ever known.

Magical, mystical, enchanting, and with a setting that will sweep you back to old England, A Treason of Thorns will keep you engaged from the beginning clear to the action packed ending. 

Legends and lore, magical bindings, endearing stories of home, both those we are born to and those we create, and becoming who we want to be rather than what is expected of us, A Treason of Thorns was  beautifully done with effortless writing that was every bit as wonderful and emotional and it is magical. 

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