Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Review: Smoke and Key by Kelsey Sutton

Title: Smoke and Key
Author: Kelsey Sutton
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published By: Entangled Teen (April 2, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Book Description:
A sound awakens her. There's darkness all around. And then she's falling...

She has no idea who or where she is. Or why she's dead. The only clue to her identity hangs around her neck: a single rusted key. This is how she and the others receive their names—from whatever belongings they had when they fell out of their graves. Under is a place of dirt and secrets, and Key is determined to discover the truth of her past in order to escape it.

She needs help, but who can she trust? Ribbon seems content in Under, uninterested in finding answers. Doll’s silence hints at deep sorrow, which could be why she doesn't utter a word. There's Smoke, the boy with a fierceness that rivals even the living. And Journal, who stays apart from everyone else. Key's instincts tell her there is something remarkable about each of them, even if she can't remember why.

Then the murders start; bodies that are burnt to a crisp. After being burned, the dead stay dead. Key is running out of time to discover who she was—and what secret someone is willing to kill to keep hidden—before she becomes the next victim… 

If there is one thing I love more in this genre than anything else, it is originality and Smoke and Key is packed full of it. 

It is utterly unique and utterly engaging. From the very first creeptastic chapter I was hooked and couldn't wait to read more.

I absolutely loved the imaginative world of the Under. The characters, the setting, how it all came about slowly through memories and trials. Truly this story was so well done and so irresistable and hard to put down. A truly imagainative take and a breath of fresh air in the YA genre. 

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

Monday, March 18, 2019

Review: The Deepest Blue by Sarah Beth Durst

Title: The Deepest Blue
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published By: Harper Voyager (March 19, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
The natural magic of the classic The Island of the Blue Dolphins meets the danger and courage of The Hunger Games in this dazzling, intricate stand-alone fantasy novel set in award-winning author Sarah Beth Durst’s beloved world of Renthia.

Life is precious and precarious on the islands of Belene. Besieged by a capricious ocean full of malicious spirits, the people of the islands seek joy where they can. Mayara, one of the island’s fearless oyster divers, has found happiness in love. But on the day of her wedding to the artist Kelo, a spirit-driven storm hits the island with deadly force.

To save her loved ones, Mayara reveals a dangerous secret: she has the power to control the spirits. When the storm ends, she is taken into custody by the queen’s soldiers and imprisoned with other women like her.

They vary in age and social status, but to many they are heroes who will aide the country or witches that will sacrifice themselves trying. No matter who they are, the women are sent to a terrifying place—an island filled with bloodthirsty nature spirits, and left without food, water, shelter, or any tools except their own instincts and magic. Whoever survives the Island of Testing will be declared heirs to the queen. But no matter if she wins or loses, Mayara knows that the life she dreamed of is gone.

Even though I haven't read the original trilogy to this series, I am familiar with Ms. Durst writing and I just knew I would be able to jump right in and have no issues at all. I do love being right! 

Not being familiar with how the trilogy ended I was a bit worried I wouldn't get a feel for the world that Durst created, however, after the first few chapters she quickly put my mind at ease with her detail to characters and her setting. I felt like I was stepping into a brand new book, not a continued series. I had no trouble at all quickly becoming immersed in the imaginative and creative world that is this series.

Full of spirits and demons, monsters of both the supernatural and human kind and love story and family ties that defies them all, this was such an easy story to get caught up in. Fantasy or not, I could easily picture it all. From the islands to the ocean, I was right there with them through the whole journey. 

It truly was original and fun and makes me want to go back and read it all over again, but this time starting from the very first book. 

Truly a fun and magic filled ride that I don't regret jumping blindly into. 

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

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Review: Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

Title: Serious Moonlight
Author: Jenn Bennett
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA Contemporary
Published By: Simon Pulse (April 16, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange of an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
After an awkward first encounter, Birdie and Daniel are forced to work together in a Seattle hotel where a famous author leads a mysterious and secluded life in this romantic contemporary novel from the author of Alex, Approximately.

Mystery-book aficionado Birdie Lindberg has an overactive imagination. Raised in isolation and homeschooled by strict grandparents, she’s cultivated a whimsical fantasy life in which she plays the heroic detective and every stranger is a suspect. But her solitary world expands when she takes a job the summer before college, working the graveyard shift at a historic Seattle hotel.

In her new job, Birdie hopes to blossom from introverted dreamer to brave pioneer, and gregarious Daniel Aoki volunteers to be her guide. The hotel’s charismatic young van driver shares the same nocturnal shift and patronizes the waterfront Moonlight Diner where she waits for the early morning ferry after work. Daniel also shares her appetite for intrigue, and he’s stumbled upon a real-life mystery: a famous reclusive writer—never before seen in public—might be secretly meeting someone at the hotel.

To uncover the writer’s puzzling identity, Birdie must come out of her shell…discovering that most confounding mystery of all may be her growing feelings for the elusive riddle that is Daniel.

Is there anything better than a Jenn Bennett book with all her quirky characters, irresistible friendships, and swoon worthy romances?

There might be but you will be hard pressed to find them! 

I adore Jenn's book, I mean, honestly, who doesn't that has tried them? They are so much fun. They are real, raw, and so very very addicting. 

And as weird as it may sound, I love that in all of them, there is always a very strong adult presence. Whether a parent, guardian, loved one, someone. You don't find that very often in YA period and I love that her's are always there, cheering her characters on, supporting them and most of all, just being there, involved in their lives. 

This was such a cute and fun read. Filled with mystery, a sweet romance, and some very real, very tough social, emotional, and even physical issues and I loved it for it. 

Once again Jenn shows why she writes so well in this genre. Why her books stand out and why they are ones I will always be auto buying. 

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

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Blog Tour Review: A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn

I absolutely adore not only Raybourn's writing but this series. It truly is a stand out favorite and I'm so excited to tell you that her latest installment is by far, the best yet. So much fun. If you haven't tried this series yet you are missing out and need to grab a copy. You will have so much fun!

Title: A Dangerous Collaboration 
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Series: Book Four in the Veronica Speedwell Series
Published By: Berkley (March 12, 2019)
Genre: Historical Mystery
Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Description:
Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell is whisked off to a remote island off the tip of Cornwall when her natural historian colleague Stoker's brother calls in a favor. On the pretext of wanting a companion to accompany him to Lord Malcolm Romilly's house party, Tiberius persuades Veronica to pose as his fiancée--much to Stoker's chagrin. But upon arriving, it becomes clear that the party is not as innocent as it had seemed. Every invited guest has a connection to Romilly's wife, Rosamund, who disappeared on her wedding day three years ago, and a dramatic dinner proves she is very much on her husband's mind.

As spectral figures, ghostly music, and mysterious threats begin to plague the partygoers, Veronica enlists Stoker's help to discover the host's true motivations. And as they investigate, it becomes clear that there are numerous mysteries surrounding the Romilly estate, and every person present has a motive to kill Rosamund...

About the Author:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Deanna Raybourn is a 6th-generation native Texan. She graduated with a double major in English and history from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Married to her college sweetheart and the mother of one, Raybourn makes her home in Virginia. Her novels have been nominated for numerous awards including five RITAs, two RT Reviewers’ Choice awards, the Agatha, two Dilys Winns, a Last Laugh, and three du Mauriers. Her Lady Julia Grey novels are currently in development as a television series in the UK and she launched a new Victorian mystery series with the 2015 release of A CURIOUS BEGINNING, featuring intrepid butterfly-hunter and amateur sleuth, Veronica Speedwell. Veronica’s second adventure is A PERILOUS UNDERTAKING (January 2017), and book three, A TREACHEROUS CURSE, was published in January 2018. A DANGEROUS COLLABORATION will be released in March 2019. Further books in the Veronica Speedwell series are contracted through 2020.

Is there truly anything better than a tantalizing mystery and a slow burn romance all set in England during the 19th century?

Maybe but you would be hard pressed to find it!

The Veronical Speedwell series is just so much fun. It has been a favorite of mine since the very first book and the stories, the mysteries, the characters and the romance aspect, just keep getting better and better. 

Raybourn is an amazing writer with the ability to create a heroine that rivals any era but her headstrong, smart, ambitious and very determined and sometimes sassy heroines of the 19th century, are by far my favorite. Add in her thrilling mysteries that keep you on your toes and a romance/friendship that is every bit as delicious and you have an irresistible read that is so very hard to put down.

Her latest set in a castle on a very secluded island shrouded with forklore, legends, and mysteries in and of itself and you truly have a mouthwatering read that will keep you eagerly turning the pages and refusing to put it down. 

Add in a touch of sexual tension, murder, and the shenanigans that Veronica always manages to find herself in, the sexy gruffness that is Stoker,  and this was truly my favorite yet. So stinking good and it just made me want the next book that much more. 

Monday, March 11, 2019

Review: The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner

Title: The Last Year of the War

Author: Susan Meissner
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Historical
Published By: Berkley (March 19, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review.)
My Rating:  5 Solid Stars!!

Book Description:
Elise Sontag is a typical Iowa fourteen-year-old in 1943--aware of the war but distanced from its reach. Then her father, a legal U.S. resident for nearly two decades, is suddenly arrested on suspicion of being a Nazi sympathizer. The family is sent to an internment camp in Texas, where, behind the armed guards and barbed wire, Elise feels stripped of everything beloved and familiar, including her own identity.

The only thing that makes the camp bearable is meeting fellow internee Mariko Inoue, a Japanese-American teen from Los Angeles, whose friendship empowers Elise to believe the life she knew before the war will again be hers. Together in the desert wilderness, Elise and Mariko hold tight the dream of being young American women with a future beyond the fences. 

Absolutely breathtaking. Beautifully told and so heartbreaking lovely, The Last Year of the War is a book that will not only open your eyes but touch your soul.

Poignant, heart wrenching, and so very moving, it is a book that I am so very glad I took the time to read. 

Meissner has always impressed me with her beautifully written and thought out stories but she truly stunned with this The Last Year of the War.

I can't even begin to explain how touching this story was and how much it both moved and resonated with me. 

One I will soon not be forgetting and one I know I will be thinking on for days, weeks, maybe even months after. 

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

Friday, March 8, 2019

Review: Girls With Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young

Title: Girls With Sharp Sticks
Author: Suzanne Young
Series: Book One in the Girls With Sharp Sticks Series
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published By: Simon Pulse (March 19, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Book Description:
The Girls of Innovations Academy are beautiful and well-behaved—it says so on their report cards. Under the watchful gaze of their Guardians, the all-girl boarding school offers an array of studies and activities, from “Growing a Beautiful and Prosperous Garden” to “Art Appreciation” and “Interior Design.” The girls learn to be the best society has to offer. Absent is the difficult math coursework, or the unnecessary sciences or current events. They are obedient young ladies, free from arrogance or defiance. Until Mena starts to realize that their carefully controlled existence may not be quite as it appears.

As Mena and her friends begin to uncover the dark secrets of what’s actually happening there—and who they really are—the girls of Innovations will find out what they are truly capable of. Because some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns.

I always adore Suzanne Young's writing because her books are imaginative, dark, and always completely unique. 

When I saw Girls With Sharp Sticks I knew that I needed it and most of all, I knew that I was in for quite the treat and quite the ride. 

Girls With Sharp Sticks is like the school for Stepford Wives. Where they are grown and cultivated and...well brainwashed. It was horrifyingly fascinating and I couldn't get enough of it with, after each chapter, things started to get clearer about exactly what the Academy was and what they were doing. 

I swayed back and forth between being sick about what I was actually reading and being completely enthralled that such a thing was being taught and that worst of all, the girls didn't know any better. 

This story. I really don't even know where to begin other than it was pure genius mixed in with some sci fi angles, ruthlessness, and pure delight. It truly kept me so entertained, turning the pages in both revulsion and in pure fascination. I couldn't get enough.

I am so excited for the next book. I am not ready to say goodbye to this terrifying world Young created nor the head strong girls that ruled this book. The girl power was simply amazing and I adored it. 

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

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Promotional Post and Giveaway: The Revenge of Magic by James Riley

Today the fun and highly anticipated middle grade fantasy story, The Revenge of Magic releases and to celebrate I have a giveaway to offer one lucky US winner!
This story looks so fun and cute and something that I think anyone will love!

Title: The Revenge of Magic
Author: James Riley
Series: Book One in the Revenge of Magic Series
Published By: Aladdin (March 5, 2019)
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Book Description:
From New York Times bestselling author of Story Thieves James Riley comes the first book in his epic new series THE REVENGE OF MAGIC (Aladdin | On sale March 5, 2019)! When long-dead magical creatures are discovered all around the world, each buried with a book of magic, only children can unlock the dangerous power of the books. THE REVENGE OF MAGIC has been option by Stampede Ventures.

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 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 25, 2019

Review: Wild Country by Anne Bishop

Title: Wild Country
Author: Anne Bishop
Series: Book Two of The World of the Others, Seven in the Others
Published By: Ace (March 5, 2019)
Genre: Fantasy
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 5 Stars!

Book Description:
In this powerful and exciting fantasy set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Others series, humans and the shape-shifting Others will see whether they can live side by side...without destroying one another.

There are ghost towns in the world—places where the humans were annihilated in retaliation for the slaughter of the shape-shifting Others.

One of those places is Bennett, a town at the northern end of the Elder Hills—a town surrounded by the wild country. Now efforts are being made to resettle Bennett as a community where humans and Others live and work together. A young female police officer has been hired as the deputy to a Wolfgard sheriff. A deadly type of Other wants to run a human-style saloon. And a couple with four foster children—one of whom is a blood prophet—hope to find acceptance.

But as they reopen the stores and the professional offices and start to make lives for themselves, the town of Bennett attracts the attention of other humans looking for profit. And the arrival of the Blackstone Clan, outlaws and gamblers all, will uncover secrets…or bury them.

There is almost nothing more than the dark almost creepy world that Bishop has created in The Others series. 

With all the supernatural creatures we have all come to know, love and become fascinated with, but with a darker more sinister, no nonsense twist that is completely unique and one I completely adore. 

Even though I miss Meg, Simon and all the gang from the original series so very much, I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was to know after the first book in the spin off, Lake Silence, was just as fascinating and fantastic as the original, I was to know we would be getting more. 

Getting over that initial reservation of can Bishop really pull it off again, I can say with complete confidence and honesty, that why, yes, yes she can.

In fact, this is one of my most favorite books in the series to date. I just loved everything about it from the town, to the people, to the pack...just, it was so much of what I loved about the original but with whole new characters that were every bit as loveable as the original. 

Truly this series is just getting better and Meg and Simon or no Meg and Simon, it truly is worth it to pick up and get a darker, more frightening taste of what The Others is all about. 

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

Monday, February 18, 2019

Review: Salvatore by Cecy Robson

Title: Salvatore
Author: Cecy Robson
Series: Book One in the In Too Far Series
Published: March 13, 2019
Genre: Contemporary
Source: ARC Provided by the Author (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 3.5-4 Stars

Book Description:
Desperate men do desperate things . . .

Salvatore Romero is a dangerous man. If you’ve lived the life Sal has, rage is to be expected and maybe so is heart. After his father killed his mother in a jealous rage, Sal was left to raise his two younger brothers, becoming a parent long before he was ready.

Desperate for money to support his family, Sal sought help from his old friend, Vincent Maggiano, the son of New Jersey’s top crime boss being groomed to take over his ailing father’s empire.

Sal never planned to join the mob. He also never planned to fall for his brother's sweet and ultra conservative counselor, Adrianna Daniels.

Aedry isn’t the type of girl Sal is usually drawn to. Her skirts are longer, her hair is tamer, and her heels aren’t clear. But he can’t deny the attraction he feels. And Salvatore’s dark, sexy, and dangerous persona is the exact opposite of the clean-cut business men who usually catch Aedry’s attention.

Neither planned on a life of crime nor did they plan on love. But now, both are in too far.

I wanted to both love and hate this book and I think, at times, I really did both love and hate it.

I hated all the lies and even how Sal acted for a good chunk on the story and I will admit, I was even not rooting for him for part of it. And yet, my weird self couldn't help but like that this gruff dangerous, over aggressive, over alpha male did have a soft spot for Aedry and most of the time, even treated her right.

But did all of that make up for the bad? I honestly, still don't know. I have so many mixed feelings about this book. When Robson said it was dark, she wasn't lying. Nothing about this book except maybe Aedry's relationship with Sal's brothers, is light. Nothing about it is even really good except for the one little thing called love and all the redeeming power said love can have and how very much someone, even a gruff alpha male, will do for it.

So did I love the lies, the deceit, and all the secrets? No, I actually didn't. 

But yet, I did love the tender rare moments and the great change that overall, happened to them all along the way and the way that in the end, it did work out and it was a happily ever after. 

Did I trust that Cecy would be able to change my mind about what I didn't like into something I did by the time the last page was turned? Why yes, yes, I did. 

So while this wasn't a favorite of mine, it was still classic Cecy under all that darkness and deceit and I couldn't help but like the characters in the end and yes, was even rooting for them and that crazy alpha male. 

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

Monday, February 11, 2019

Review: What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

Title: What the Wind Knows
Author: Amy Harmon
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Historical Fiction/Contemporary
Published By: Lake Union (March 1, 2019)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
In an unforgettable love story, a woman’s impossible journey through the ages could change everything…

Anne Gallagher grew up enchanted by her grandfather’s stories of Ireland. Heartbroken at his death, she travels to his childhood home to spread his ashes. There, overcome with memories of the man she adored and consumed by a history she never knew, she is pulled into another time.

The Ireland of 1921, teetering on the edge of war, is a dangerous place in which to awaken. But there Anne finds herself, hurt, disoriented, and under the care of Dr. Thomas Smith, guardian to a young boy who is oddly familiar. Mistaken for the boy’s long-missing mother, Anne adopts her identity, convinced the woman’s disappearance is connected to her own.

As tensions rise, Thomas joins the struggle for Ireland’s independence and Anne is drawn into the conflict beside him. Caught between history and her heart, she must decide whether she’s willing to let go of the life she knew for a love she never thought she’d find. But in the end, is the choice actually hers to make?

Amy Harmon has always been a favorite author of mine, from her very first book I was hooked and as her stories progress, they truly only seem to get better.

I was so eager to get my hands on her newest release and for good reason, because let me tell you, it was riveting and so worth the wait. Once again, from the very first page,  I was pulled right into the story and it was so hard to put down.

Riddled with emotion, I was captured by the setting, the story line and the very real characters themselves. Everything about this story called to me. 

Set in Ireland during one of the islands worst events in its history, it was so enchanting. From the stories and lore to the very heart of the rebellion. Everything about it demanded that you pay attention and read on. 

I can't even begin to express how much I adored this story. From young Eoin right down to Thomas, so much about this story spoke and called to me in all the best ways that only Harmon seems to know how to do. 

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