Thursday, April 8, 2021

Curse Queen (Forbidden Forest #4) by Amber Argyle

 


A warrior enchantress. An unrequited love. A brand new fairytale...

The path of a warrior enchantress is bathed in blood and magic.

Born to one of the most powerful families in the kingdom, Eiryss lives a life of luxury and magic. Until her father commits the ultimate act of treason.

Treason that sparks a war.

The life Eiryss knew is over. Her one-time friends are gone. All but Ramass. And if he would just look at her - touch her - the way she longs for, she might be able to bear it. But his heart belongs to another. There is only one path for Eiryss now: become a warrior enchantress and fight for what's rightfully hers. And if the powers that be deny her, well...

If they won't give Eiryss magic, she'll steal it.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

Wow, okay.  So, this book is the fourth book in this series and really should be read in order.  Even though this story is set in time before the rest of the books, it will have spoilers and trust me when I say you don't want that.  Nope, better to read this series in order and be spoiler free.

I took me a quick minute to remember what this book was.  I didn't realize (or remember) that this book was set back, back, back in time, before the other books in this series.  I was a bit confused at first, thinking I had missed something.  Only one character name was etched into my memory (Ramass) but it all came back to me quickly. 

This is the story that started it all.  Good versus evil, light versus darkness.  There was literally a battle through the whole book.  This author is so good at crafting characters who are complex and flawed but have such a gravitational pull to them.  I literally couldn't look away.  I became invested in the story quickly.  It is on the darker side.  There is heartbreak, pain and devastation throughout but there is also a tiny thread of hope, friendship and strength.  Eiryss is definitely a strong woman who keeps getting thrown down (stomped on, lied to, beaten) but keeps getting up.  She just doesn't ever give up.  How can you not admire that?

I'll admit that here, at the end, I am a bit sad.  This part of the tale isn't happy.  Engaging, interesting, yes.  Happy, no.  Happy comes later in the story but wow, what a journey.  I've been reading books by author Amber Argyle for a long time because she is so good at this dark fantasy type of book.  It's different from most things I read and I really like that.

Content:  violence, peril.  Kissing.  Intimate relations behind closed doors.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.


Tuesday, April 6, 2021

In Times of Rain and War by Camron Wright

 


During World War II, an American soldier encounters a German woman living a secret life in bomb-blighted London.

In September of 1940, the Blitz had begun. Like other British civilians, Audrey Stocking is determined to survive, except she isn’t from England. She is a German—a young Jewish woman with a fake passport and a nearly-perfect British accent, trying her best to blend into the city. Her days are kept busy working for the Woman’s Voluntary Services to evacuate British children into the countryside, saving them from nightly bombings over London. But she also writes secret letters addressed to her father’s factory back home. Audrey longs to be reunited with her father and younger brothers in Germany, but she isn’t holding out much hope. If the bombs don’t get her, British Military Intelligence will. And then there’s the paralyzing nightmares and flashbacks—something from her past she can’t quite remember. When an air raid leaves an unexploded bomb wedged in the floor of Audrey’s flat, an American soldier training with Bomb Disposal Company 5 is a welcome sight.

Lieutenant Wesley Bowers arrived in England the day the Blitz began. He knows the average life expectancy of soldiers disarming bombs is ten weeks, and not all of the men in his unit will survive. Wes struggles with the idea of losing men who are starting to feel like family. Although he’s committed to being a soldier, he grapples with the thought of death. Meeting Audrey, an attractive, intelligent, and caring British girl has been the one bright spot during the war’s unending bleakness. Wes has a girl waiting for him back home, but he’s never met anyone like Audrey. There’s an immediate connection between them, and they open up to each other, sharing their innermost feelings. Will he still feel the same if he discovers the truth about her identity? Even Audrey doesn’t know the whole truth. Not yet.

In Times of Rain and War is a gripping and heartbreakingly beautiful story about the strength and resilience of the human heart and spirit, reminding us there is always hope in hard times.


Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres and I really love books set during WWII.  My grandparents lived through this war in England and in fact, had a bombing the night before their wedding.  My grandma ran down the stairs of their house, worried about her cake that they had saved sugar rations for, crying "my cake, my cake!"  She didn't even know if my grandpa would make it to the wedding.  The bombings made it difficult to get to the church from where he was stationed because the roads were demolished.  He hitchhiked, and finally made it.  Late, but grandma didn't give up.  Thank goodness.  See why I love books like this?  It feels like I know a bit of my own history better.

I haven't ever read anything about the many men who defused the many bombs during WWII that fell but didn't explode.  Crazy stuff.  Absolutely crazy.  But how important they were to saving so many people.  It was amazing to read about and I learned so much.  I love when a book does that for me.

This book was heartbreaking.  War is so devastating.  I wish all people, everywhere could avoid it.  There were many moments of hope and love and friendship, but this story was a bit heartbreaking overall.  I'm grateful though, for the reminder of all I have to be grateful for and all those that deserve to be remembered for giving up so much, sometimes everything, for others.  Here is my favorite quote:

" The soul is a tender and complicated thing, and it can bruise easily, but I've learned it's after fighting through our deepest moments of distress that our greatest strength are found."

Content:  war violence, death, peril.  One kiss.  A couple instances of mild swearing.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.




Monday, April 5, 2021

Danger on the Loch by Paige Edwards

 


Raised by a cold and distant mother, photographer Paisley Clark has spent her life daydreaming about the father she doesn’t remember. Paisley’s dream turns to reality when a DNA test brings her in contact with the mysterious man. With her financial situation a disaster and her childhood friend James Pressley-Coombes working across the pond in Scotland, Paisley is emboldened to accept her father’s invitation to visit him.

She arrives in the Highlands only to discover that she isn’t Paisley Clark at all but a titled lady, the daughter of a Scottish duke. Despite the warm welcome and the comfort of James’s presence, dangerous undercurrents surround Castle Rannoch, her father’s estate. Overwhelmed, Paisley takes refuge in her camera and James’s steady presence to provide a sense of normalcy in her rags-to-riches transformation. But her once-easy relationship with James is changing, deepening beyond friendship in a surprising twist of events. Before they have time to examine their feelings, Paisley inadvertently captures a shocking image in one of her photographs—a picture worth killing for.

* Amazon * Goodreads * Deseret Book *

Paige Edwards is an author whose books I have come to anticipate and enjoy because romantic suspense is one of my favorite genres.  Oh, and props to the cover art.  It's another beautiful one by this publisher.

Paisley has quite a few big changes come her way all at once.  I thought she was a likeable character with a kind heart and a good head on her shoulders.  Her relationship with James was more friendship based as they have known each other most of their lives but it made for a strong, dependable foundation.  The relationship progressed but the plot was responsible for the forward momentum of the story.  I liked how little nuggets were given along the way to draw suspicion to different characters but I always had my eye on the true culprit which I'm sure was meant to be.  The nuggets and intense moments all came together for one final explosive ending.  It was a fun ride.  I think one of things that I really loved was the ending.  After the big finale, the author brought things back down and wrapped the characters and plot up with a nice bow.  It left me with a warm fuzzy feeling.  I love happy endings after rough roads.

I also loved traveling in Scotland for this book.  It's a place I'd love to visit one day and this book made me want to bump it up on my travel list but you will not find me eating Haggis.  😂

Content:  kissing, peril, violence.  Some mild Christian elements.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.


Thursday, April 1, 2021

The Crown of Rosemund by Michele Ashman Bell

 

Anduron, 1498

The king and queen are dead, murdered by one who will stop at nothing to rule. But the young princess—Rosemund—has survived, spirited deep into the forest by her parents’ most trusted advisor. There, she finds refuge in a small cottage and a new life, one in which she must play a role that will ensure her survival. Soldiers are combing the countryside searching for the lost princess, and they will not rest until she is found—and eliminated.

Rosemund’s strength grows as she trains for battle and endures the hardships and dangers of peasant life. When chance brings Maxwell, a young man from the nearby village, into her life, Rose finds in him an ally and a friend. As her sixteenth birthday approaches, the time has come for Rose to reclaim her birthright, and in a court controlled by a vengeful new ruler, she must play a deadly game of politics in order to seize the throne that is rightfully hers.

 * Amazon * Goodreads * Deseret Book *

I really love the cover of this book and I have to say that this publisher is crushing it with novel covers overall.  They are so unique and connected to the story, just like this one is.  I'm a fan.

The Crown of Rosemund is a mixed bag for me.  I guess I was expecting something a bit more than I received.  The first half of the story is slow.  So slow and so repetitive.  It was a struggle sometimes to stay connected.  I didn't ever feel an emotional connection to any of the characters so the plot really had to be the primary motivator for me to read.  The second half of the story got better and picked up in pace a bit.

I really liked the transformation of Rosemund from insecure, sheltered princess to a strong, resilient young woman, ready to fight to be queen.  The last bit of the book was my favorite because it was where Rosemund really steps into her role as leader and queen.  She bands people together and takes her castle and her position back.  There are some good fighting scenes and it felt climactic for sure.

I'm not really sure of the target audience for this book.  After reading, I would say the younger set because of the age of Rosemund (about 16) and how the story progresses.  The romance isn't really a romance, just a friendship for most of the book.  Everything stays pretty surface and as an adult, I was really hoping for more.  So, maybe this book would be better suited for the younger YA crowd?  That would make more sense.

3/5 stars for this book.

Content:  peril, some violence and fighting.  One chaste kiss at the end.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

The Temporary Roomie (It Happened in Nashville #2) by Sarah Adams

 


What happens when you have to play nice with your greatest enemy? Revenge.

Drew Marshall may have let me move into his spare bedroom while my house is being renovated, but don’t think for one second his kindness comes without strings. Big, ugly, fake relationship strings.

That’s okay, though, Dr. Andrew. I’ll agree to your terms, move into your house, and act like
your girlfriend when the big day comes; but I also plan to make your life miserable—make you pay for what you did to me.

I may not be good at forgiving or forgetting, but I’m excellent at getting even.

Get ready to laugh until you cry with this sizzling, hilarious, closed-door romantic comedy!


Excitement.  Giddy, happy, excitement.  That's what I'm feeling right now.  I just had THE MOST FUN reading this new book by Sarah Adams.  It's no secret that I love to be entertained when reading and I love when I am left with an emotional high.  This book gave me so many smiles, quite a few giggles and all the sizzle of attraction.  It was so yummy.  

The beginning feud, especially on Jessie's side, seemed a bit extreme.  I could understand Drew's side, retaliation for something he didn't fully understand, but Jessie was a bit over the top.  The evolution of pranks was hilarious though.  Oh man.  I'm smiling just thinking about it.  Enemies to lovers done to perfection.  There is a reason this author is at the top of my favorites list.  And the ending?  Yeah, it was pretty great.  Like I said, I'm on a high and it's going to be tough coming back down to Book Hangover.

I could not put this book down.  I stayed up waaaaaay into the night to finish it and didn't regret it at all.  I'm ready to read it again!!  😁  

This book is on KU if you have that.  

Content:  a few instances of mild swearing.  Kissing- making out, behind doors intimacy with no details but you know it happens.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book but have already pre-ordered my own copy.  All opinions expressed are my own.


Thursday, March 25, 2021

Springtime Love at The Homestead Inn: Country Boy & City Girl Romance (The Haven Hills Homestead Inn #1) by Kimberly Krey

 

 

She's a billionaire thrust into hiding. He's a wealthy cowboy seeking solitude. When the two are roped into running his granddad's inn, they're captured by an unforeseen romance. But will the secrets of her past destroy their blooming love?

--------------------------

Five billionaire siblings are sent into hiding when their mafia-linked granddad makes a plea bargain that puts them at risk. Through a relocation program, they're sent to help run The Homestead Inn.

Now each must hide their secret past, adapt to their unexpected future, and learn how to answer the call when love comes knocking.

 * Amazon * Goodreads

I always love reading books by author Kimberly Krey!  I've been reading them for years and she is an author I can depend on for sizzling sweet romance.  This is the first book in a new series and I'm excited about it!  This book kind of sets the stage for the series and introduces us to a cast of characters- siblings- who are hiding away in the protection program. 

First up is Andie, the only girl in this family.  She and her brothers get off to a rocky start with Trenton who definitely has a chip on his shoulder.  He's confused and feeling a bit left out and betrayed by his grandfather who harbored a LOT of secrets.  There is an excellent cast of secondary characters that help give this book a sense of home and family.  I loved the developing friendship and love between Andie and Trenton.  It was a slow burn kind of thing but once that first kiss came- hold on to your hats, friends- things really picked up steam.  

This was a fun, romantic escape.  Easy reading, left me feeling happy kind of book.  I'm looking forward to the next one!

Content:  kissing

- I picked this book up on Kindle Unlimited!

 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Dreamer (The Dream World Chronicles #1) by Camille Peters

 


Eden has a secret: she has the ability to see and enter others’ dreams, a most inconvenient power when one is an outcast living in a magic-phobic village and yearning to fit in. When she accidentally exposes her powers, Eden discovers that her uncanny abilities connect her to the Dream World, home to the magical beings responsible for creating dreams, and the first place Eden has felt she truly belongs.

Standing in her way is the formidable Dream Council, which questions whether she should remain in their world. Unless Eden can prove she’s truly a Dreamer, she’ll lose all her magical powers and be forced to return to Earth. Proving herself turns out to be more difficult than she anticipated. When Eden is assigned to create dreams for a newborn mortal, her opponent—the talented Nightmare Darius—makes it his personal mission to uncover her secrets, which could result in her permanent banishment.

Eden struggles not only to outwit her foe, but also to prevent herself from falling in love with him, all while finding herself entangled in mysterious events as the Nightmare Realm begins to eclipse the Dream Realm, threatening not just her chances of remaining in her new home, but the balance of the universe itself. As Eden fights to fit into this world of dreams and magic, she finds herself on a journey of self-discovery that will take her down a path that forces her to confront an unknown darkness within herself, leading her to realize she’s not who she initially believed, nor does she belong where she thinks she does.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

Happy new release to this book and this author!

First, I have to shout out my love for the cover of this book.  It so perfectly represents what is inside and I think it is beautiful.  

I have to admit that fantasy books can be a bit hit or miss for me.  I thought the premise of this book sounded cool though so I wanted to try it out and I've read books by this author before and enjoyed them.  This book is a YA book, with a target age of 12-18.  That sounds about right.  The characters come across young.  Even the older ones.  So yeah, target range is spot on except this book is LONG.  Over 400 pages, which makes it not really great for most 12 year old's (and sometimes even adults like me!)  There was a LOT of description and the plot moves forward slowly.  If you love descriptive books, you will love this one.  

The author clearly put a lot of thought and effort into this idea.  It is creative and imaginative.  I liked many parts of it.  I didn't have a lot of emotional investment in the characters but the story concept and the cover?  Two thumbs up.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.