How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days by Kerrelyn Sparks (The Embraced #1)

4 Stars

It has been way too long since I last read a paranormal romance, and it felt good to be back. How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days is the first book in Kerrelyn Sparks new The Embraced series. I haven’t read any of her books before, but enough of my friends have raved about her work that I was pretty sure she would be a hit for me.

This book was a perfect start to a new series. The world building was detailed and unique without getting bogged down with unnecessary information. It was funny, charming, and still had some heat. It did feel a little long, but it was a quick read because it was so engaging. The next book in the series will be So I Married a Sorcerer coming out at the end of August.

Buy HOW TO TAME A BEAST IN SEVEN DAYS Here – (Paperback)

Buy HOW TO TAME A BEAST IN SEVEN DAYS Here – (Kindle)

I received an advance readers copy of this book that I have chosen to review.

Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts

 4 Stars

I never expected to love Royal Bastards like I do.

This is one of those books that you can’t even talk about because everything you want to say is a spoiler. I will say there were way more twists than I expected and most of them were not pleasant. There is some romance, but it is definitely not the meat of this story. This is the 1st book in a planned trilogy, and I already know I will read every. single. one. I am in.

The beginning of this book reads more like MG and the vocabulary is oddly modern for the type of historical fantasy I was expecting. When I started I thought it would end up being a light fantasy like My Lady Jane. It definitely takes a darker turn though and sets itself firmly on the YA shelf. It is political, violent and magical with a definite world that is solidly set. I hope the physical book gets a world map, and I can’t wait to see the fan art for these characters (and creatures).

Buy ROYAL BASTARDS Here – (Hardcover)

Buy ROYAL BASTARDS Here – (Kindle)

I received an advance reader copy of this book that I have chosen to review.

Garden of Thorns by Amber Mitchell

4 Stars

I’m pretty sure the reason I wanted to read this book was because of the cover. I mean, LOOK AT IT!

I’ll be honest with you here. I haven’t read much of the mainstream YA Fantasy out there right now, so I can’t tell you if “it’s been done before”. What I can tell you is this book drew me in and kept me there. The slavery conditions Rose experiences are incomprehensible and create an instant “bad guy”. From the very beginning, there was always something happening, and I couldn’t put this book down.

I have two minor complaints. I usually enjoy “insta-love” (especially the fated kind) but this was a little fast, even for me. After I got over the initial “insta-love” shock I was completely on board with the romance. I also felt like Rose got too involved in the group too quickly. She went from being imprisoned, then training the next day, and being involved in her first mission the next. She jumped in with both feet, and they seemed to welcome her.

Amber Mitchell said she wrote this as a standalone with room for a sequel. She is completely right. I finished this book and was satisfied with where it ended, BUT I would 100% read a sequel. In fact, I’m hoping there is a sequel. Rose experienced so much growth in this book that I can’t wait to see how she handles what comes next.

Buy GARDEN OF THORNS Here – (Kindle)

Buy GARDEN OF THORNS Here – (Paperback)

I received an advance review copy of this book that I have chosen to review.

Hex on the Beach by Gina LaManna (The Magic and Mixology Mystery Series #1)

4 Stars!

I LOVED this book. It just made me happy and giddy, and put me in a good mood. It is a fantasy, but a humorous type of fantasy set in a contemporary world. This book is currently part of the “Prime Reading membership”, so I was able to read it for free through my Amazon Prime membership. It was well worth the time spent reading it, and I’m considering picking up a copy to own.

I picked up this book on the recommendation of two different bloggers I follow. I’ve heard it described as Stephanie Plum meets Harry Potter, but I think you will be disappointed if you go in expecting Harry Potter. This is definitely a light book, and  a “chick lit” version of magic. BUT if you go in expecting a light, silly, magic-ish romance then you will be happy.

Buy HEX ON THE BEACH Here – (Kindle) <– also available through Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading

Buy HEX ON THE BEACH Here – (Paperback)

I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a funny PG-13 romance with a touch of magic.

Balance by Janelle Stalder (The Balance Series Part 1)

4 Stars + a cliffhanger alert!

That cliffhanger! I should have realized before I started reading it, it very clearly says Part One on the cover, but Cover-Lust is real and I couldn’t wait.

Balance reminds me of Twilight quite a bit. I’m not exactly sure what it is that makes me draw that comparison. Is it the mousy, inexperienced girl? The inexplicable attraction? The relationship between a rich and powerful male and a very breakable human girl? I love Twilight, so this isn’t a problem for me.

My only complaints are pretty minor. The “good side” doesn’t seem very fleshed out to me. I found the good side to feel a bit “clunky” and I didn’t really connect with them (except for Murray). I’m pretty sure that they’ll be more developed in the next book, so I’m not too worried about it. Also, I’m a bit scared of the dad. Scared enough that I had to stop reading and finish it during daylight hours.

All the being said, I found this to be a solid start to a new series. The good/evil thing is very intriguing and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Buy BALANCE Here – (Kindle)

Buy BALANCE Here – (Paperback)

I received an advance review copy of this book that I have chosen to review.

$1.99 Book Sale! My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

My Lady Jane is on sale for $1.99 on Kindle. I just finished this book and haven’t written the review yet, but I couldn’t wait to tell you it’s on sale right now. This book is usually $9.99 (for the Kindle version) and $1.99 is a great sale. This is a comedic fantasy unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It is in no way heavy, and just an all around enjoyable read.

The narrators do break the 4th wall though and speak directly to you, so if that is something that annoys you then this might not be for you. I really enjoyed how lighthearted this fantasy was. There is a touch of romance, but it is definitely YA material.

Buy MY LADY JANE Here – (Kindle)

Shadow Fall by Audrey Grey RELEASE DAY!

This book has a definite Hunger Games vibe, and for me, that is a GOOD THING. Shadow Fall is one of the best YA books I have read this year and I am SO READY for the next book in this series. If you have read all the popular YA Dystopian novels, you may not enjoy it as much because I’ve heard it is largely a mix of elements from different Dystopian series. This wasn’t a problem for me because I am sadly way behind on my popular YA fiction. You can read my original review here. I was snooping around Audrey Grey’s social media and see that the next book is expected to be Shadow Rise. I am stalking Amazon for a pre-order on this because I need it.

Buy SHADOW FALL Here – (Kindle)

Buy SHADOW FALL Here – (Paperback)

I received an advance review copy of this book that I have chosen to review.