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Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon: This Romance Burns Hot

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Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon (The Embraced, #3) Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon
(The Embraced #3)
by Kerrelyn Sparks
Erotica/Romance/Fantasy
429 Pages
Get a copy here!

From the brilliant imagination of Kerrelyn Sparks comes a bold new fantasy romance series in which passion and magic collide. Behold the Embraced…

Gwennore has a talent. An Elf able to track down the cause of an illness and heal it, she’s a valuable asset to her people. When the kidnapping of a young girl thrusts Gwennore into the very heart of the realm of the dragons, she discovers not only a place of power and magic, but also a haunted land, plagued by an ancient curse that all but ensures extinction to the royal family. But when she meets the smoldering General Silas Dravenko, they strike a bargain—save the country from its cursed illness, and he will return the kidnapped girl. She’s been raised never to trust a dragon, but never did making a deal with the devil feel so good…

Silas has no way of curing the family he’s loyally served for years. But when a beautiful elf, long considered the enemy of the dragons, comes bursting into his world, Silas is awakened to passion and desire in a way he’s never felt before. But can he trust a sworn enemy to save the very existence he holds dear? And can their love survive those that threaten to tear them apart?

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4Penguins

Quick Reasons: steamy, sexy romance!; I’m such a sucker for shifters and stomach-flutters; this was a fun, lighthearted, quick read; action-packed, awesome fight scenes; DRAGONS FOR THE WIN!

HUGE thanks to Kerrelyn Sparks, St. Martin’s Publishing, and Netgalley for sending a free egalley my way in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this title.

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Akin to other shifter romances I’ve read, this was one super steamy, sexy read! My little Penguin heart pitter-pattered its way through the pages as quickly as I possibly could–mostly because I’m addicted to those pesky little love butterflies. I especially loved the “rules” aspect of this particular read–just when I thought the author had forgotten and let that train slipslide off the track she’d laid, she brought it back to the forefront. There was a sense of, “yeah, things might have just fallen off the tracks a little bit…let me bring you back now” to it that I particularly enjoyed.

On top of that, there was an actual STORY in this–it wasn’t all bedroom scenes and “falling into each other’s eyes, ripping each other’s clothes off.” Instead, Kerrelyn Sparks made sure to wrap these characters into a world and a journey that I not only cared about, but found myself craving. Every time I tried to put this book down, I inevitably found myself picking it right back up again!8SR1

This was, without doubt, one of my favorite erotic novels of late–and I read it quite a while back, so that’s saying something! I really enjoyed that the story played out so much, and that there was more focus on the heart of the journey than on the character’s romantic affairs. I really enjoyed following them through this–and cannot wait to pick up another Kerrelyn Sparks novel in the future (I’ll be looking to see if there are more for this series, no worries!) Be careful turning these pages, Penguins–here, there be dragons.

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Top Ten Tuesday 2.5

toptentuesday

HOSTED BY: That Artsy Reader Girl–AKA Jana
DESCRIPTION:  Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Find their latest post here!

Last week’s theme, because apparently I scheduled this post to go out WAY LATER THAN I THOUGHT I DID, was…

Top 10 New Releases of (the FIRST HALF of) 2019

Although let’s be honest, I have NO IDEA anymore what books are even set to be coming out (I’m trying here, guys, I promise I am!) soooo….I’ll probably end up putting books on here that release later in the year, as well.

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Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orïsha, #2) After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.

Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari’s right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy’s wrath.

With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.

Children of Virtue and Vengeance is the stunning sequel to Tomi Adeyemi’s New York Times bestselling debut Children of Blood and Bone, the first title in her Legacy of Orïsha trilogy.

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Courting Darkness (Courting Darkness Duology, #1) Death wasn’t the end, it was only the beginning…

Sybella has always been the darkest of Death’s daughters, trained at the convent of Saint Mortain to serve as his justice. But she has a new mission now. In a desperate bid to keep her two youngest sisters safe from the family that nearly destroyed them all, she agrees to accompany the duchess to France, where they quickly find themselves surrounded by enemies. Their one ray of hope is Sybella’s fellow novitiates, disguised and hidden deep in the French court years ago by the convent—provided Sybella can find them.

Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she struggles to remember who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. Her only solace is a hidden prisoner who appears all but forgotten by his guards. When tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to take matters into her own hands—even if it means ignoring the long awaited orders from the convent.

As Sybella and Gen’s paths draw ever closer, the fate of everything they hold sacred rests on a knife’s edge. Will they find each other in time, or will their worlds collide, destroying everything they care about?

Conical Purple

Echo North Echo Alkaev’s safe and carefully structured world falls apart after her father leaves for the city and mysteriously disappears. Believing he is lost forever, Echo is shocked to find him half-frozen in the winter forest six months later, guarded by a strange talking wolf—the same creature who attacked her as a child. The wolf presents Echo with an offer: for her to come and live with him for a year. But there is more to the wolf than Echo realizes.

In his enchanted house beneath a mountain, Echo discovers centuries-old secrets, a magical library full of books-turned-mirrors, and a young man named Hal who is trapped inside of them. As the year ticks by, Echo must solve the mystery of the wolf’s enchantment before her time is up—otherwise Echo, the wolf, and Hal will be lost forever.

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The Raven's Tale Seventeen-year-old Edgar Poe counts down the days until he can escape his foster family—the wealthy Allans of Richmond, Virginia. He hungers for his upcoming life as a student at the prestigious new university, almost as much as he longs to marry his beloved Elmira Royster. However, on the brink of his departure, all his plans go awry when a macabre Muse named Lenore appears to him. Muses are frightful creatures that lead Artists down a path of ruin and disgrace, and no respectable person could possibly understand or accept them. But Lenore steps out of the shadows with one request: “Let them see me!”

 

 

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Have I convinced you to pick any of these awesome reads up?!  Anyone want to buddy read with me?! I have so many other books besides these to read yet…feel free to shoot me a comment with ANY book and I’ll let you know if I own it, we can set up a buddy read thing!)

Feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments, or link me to your own Top Ten Tuesday!

Until next time, happy book-ing!

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Blog Tour and Review: Pretty in Punxsutawney

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Check out the official tour schedule HERE to make sure you don’t miss any stops on our journey!

bookreview

Pretty in Punxsatawney_RD3Pretty in Punxsutawney
by Laurie Boyle Crompton
YA / Sci Fi / Romance / Retellings
304 Pages
Get a copy here!:

Amazon ;

Barnes & Noble ;

Book Depository ;

IndieBound 

BLURB:

Groundhog Day meets Pretty in Pink mashup from author Laurie Boyle Crompton, Pretty in Punxsutawney tells the tale of a girl willing to look beneath the surface to see people for who they really are.

 

Andie is the type of girl who always comes up with the perfect thing to say…after it’s too late to say it. She’s addicted to romance movies—okay, all movies—but has yet to experience her first kiss. After a move to Punxsutawney, PA, for her senior year, she gets caught in an endless loop of her first day at her new school, reliving those 24 hours again and again.

 

Convinced the curse will be broken when she meets her true love, Andie embarks on a mission: infiltrating the various cliques to find the one boy who can break the spell. What she discovers along the way is that people who seem completely different can often share the very same hopes, dreams, and hang-ups. And that even a day that has been lived over and over can be filled with unexpected connections and plenty of happy endings.

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About the Author:

LaurieBoyleCrompton Laurie Boyle Crompton is the author of, BLAZE, THE REAL PROM QUEENS OF WESTFIELD HIGH and LOVE AND VANDALISM (Sourcebooks 2013, 2014, 2017), ADRENALINE CRUSH (FSG/Macmillan 2014, Square Fish 2016), and the upcoming PRETTY IN PUNXSUTAWNEY (Blink/HarperCollins 2019). Laurie graduated first in her class from St. John’s University with a BA in English and Journalism. Since then, she’s written for national magazines like ALLURE, survived a teaching stint at an all-boys high school, and appeared on Good Day New York several times as a Toy Expert. And yes, a ‘toy expert’ is an actual thing that people sometimes get to be.

She has lived in places like Orlando, Florida where she and her husband spent all of their spare time and money visiting theme parks before moving to the Cotswolds in England for six months, which was every bit as cool as that sounds. The Cromptons are now back in New York where their two children resent never getting to visit Disney or the Cotswolds.

You can visit Laurie at lboylecrompton.com or check out her anti-eating-disorder artwork at dreamer-girl.com.

Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Website

 

 

3.75Penguins

Quick Reasons: frustrating, slow-to-start beginning; the twist on the love interest was easy to see coming, but fun; there was a LOT of focus on romance and not much focus on fully developing Andie’s character arc; some of the characters felt a bit contrived, or made only to fit into certain plot points/roles

 

 

 

HUGE thanks to Laurie Boyle Crompton, Blink Publishing, the Fantastic Flying Book Club team and Netgalley for shooting a complimentary egalley of this title my way in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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I had SO much fun reading this book, Penguins! The time-loop shenanigans that ensue, particularly those that occur when Andie reaches her breaking point and believes she’s never going to be set free, were deliciously entertaining and heart-wrenchingly poignant in turn. I’ll admit, though–pretty early on in the read, I became worried that I was in for just another “girl meets cute boy, girl falls for cute boy for no actual substantial reason, girl wins cute boy and everyone lives happily ever after” journey. I needn’t have worried, though–Laurie Boyle Crompton bucked the system (almost) entirely and took the read in a much more relatable way.

Of course, that doesn’t mean this read didn’t have its faults. I felt as if some of the characters were brought into this merely to drive the plot forward or fill in/complete missing chunks of the story. While the scene during which Andie drops, like, a BILLION truth bombs on her unsuspecting (and in some instances totally innocent) classmates was fun, certain characters fell flat outside of the roles they were written to play. Even the core characters, at times, read a bit too stiff for me to fully believe their motivations. There are some super awesome character growth moments sprinkled throughout this read, and while some of them were handled in gorgeously compelling ways, I feel like others didn’t quite achieve the desired result. These characters were all SUPER judgmental, as well–some of the things Andie thought were, to me, unbelievable. And while I understood the overall point that Laurie Boyle Crompton was attempting to make…I feel like Andie’s initial romantic obsession bordered just a bit on the psychotic. #sorrynotsorry

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Regardless, this title was intriguing from the start, filled to the brim with so much wit, teenage angst, and snark that my little Penguin heart almost couldn’t handle it! While I could see where Laurie Boyle Crompton was leading pretty early on, I still thoroughly enjoyed the journey. I’d recommend this to lovers of time-loops, teenage drama, and reckless shenanigans. If YOU were stuck doing the same thing over and over, what would you change?

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The Penguin Asks 1.1

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Ahem.

It has come to my attention, in the last few years, that I am reeeeeeeeally terrible at making LASTING, heart-felt connections with other Penguins I mean, other people.  I feel like a LOT of this can be narrowed down to things I’ve dealt with through the years–specifically, things dealt unto me by Penguins PEOPLE I thought I could trust completely.

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Enough with the personal backstory that nobody wants to listen to, anyway.  Point is, I am epic.  The rest of the world is epic.  I would LOVE to find other epic people to continue to be epic with.

SO

I just want to know… in our world of cell phones and websites and THE AWESOME INTERNET…

How have YOU been able to find, make, and keep lasting connections with others?  Because obviously what I’ve been doing, hasn’t worked for me.

Commence with your advice below, y’all!

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Player’s Game: How Much are YOU willing to Lose?

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Player's GamePlayer’s Game
by Desirae Clark
YA/Contemporary/Romance
186 Pages
Get a copy here!

And when I turned around, I expected to see my annoying little sisters but was instead greeted by a familiar face. In the threshold stood Parker Brady with a devious smirk on his face and the looks of a god. 

Samantha Valentine’s life turns upside down when she finds out her family is returning to her old town, Scottsdale. It took her a while to make the city her home, and now all of that is for naught, as she has to learn to settle in a quiet town again.

Parker Brady is perfectly happy to make a mess of his life after his best friend, Samantha, left him. He felt betrayed by his most trusted friend, and now he doesn’t care about anyone anymore. The only thing that matters to him is getting girls.

The two are not so thrilled when they meet after years of being away. Old grudges resurface from the past.

Will Samantha and Parker restore their broken friendship? Or will something else rise from its ruins?

Player’s Game is a funny and heartwarming story about young adults learning to come into terms with their past. If you’re up for a light read that will leave you smiling, grab your copy now! 

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3Penguins
Quick Reasons: from friends to enemies to friends to lovers–YUM!; all the teenage angst; some rather unnecessary girl-on-girl hate; cutesy, though a bit flat overall; serious case of “change the bad boy” happening in this read

 

HUGE thanks to Desirae Clark, BLVNP Incorporated Publishing, and Netgalley for sending a free egalley my way in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this title.

 

As so seems to be my “niche” lately, I have ANOTHER teenage angst-riddled title to bring you all today! (I think I need to step away from the contemporaries a little in the future, don’t you all?…wait, who am I kidding?! I LOVE love butterflies!) This time, though…. THIS is more of a “we used to be friends, then became enemies and worked our way back to friends and….well, maybe more than friends.” Yummmmmmm! There was also a bit of focus on “saving the bad boy”–or at least, that’s how I read into it. I’m not sure if it bothered me, necessarily, though I do always find myself wondering how things turn out AFTER the last page has turned.

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This did fall a bit flat for me, overall, unfortunately. The characters–as entertaining as they are!–didn’t have much dimension. There was also a LOT of unnecessary girl-on-girl hate going on that didn’t add much to the story as a whole. At times, I felt like this story was more about the social hierarchy power struggle than about much else–which can be fine, though I think this might have been done better.

 

I’d recommend this to lovers of contemporary romances with a bit more tension and a lot of sparks lurking just beneath the surface! The characters are vibrant, though the story falls a bit flat in places. Still, this was an entertaining and quick read. Are YOU willing to play the game, Penguins?

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Weekly Wishlist 2.3

weeklywishlist

Because I needed a post in my life that kept me up to date on all things BOOKS!  and it seemed like Wishlist Wednesday was dead, I decided to make my own.

Welcome to Weekly Wishlist!

I’m all about breaking bending the rules to my will, so I’m switching it up!  I’m going to pair books that are already in the wild(except not this one because I ran out of books to include that have already been published–what is this madness?!)…with books soon to be released. Click the covers to be taken to the Amazon page.

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The Raven's Tale Seventeen-year-old Edgar Poe counts down the days until he can escape his foster family—the wealthy Allans of Richmond, Virginia. He hungers for his upcoming life as a student at the prestigious new university, almost as much as he longs to marry his beloved Elmira Royster. However, on the brink of his departure, all his plans go awry when a macabre Muse named Lenore appears to him. Muses are frightful creatures that lead Artists down a path of ruin and disgrace, and no respectable person could possibly understand or accept them. But Lenore steps out of the shadows with one request: “Let them see me!”

 

 

Echo North Echo Alkaev’s safe and carefully structured world falls apart after her father leaves for the city and mysteriously disappears. Believing he is lost forever, Echo is shocked to find him half-frozen in the winter forest six months later, guarded by a strange talking wolf—the same creature who attacked her as a child. The wolf presents Echo with an offer: for her to come and live with him for a year. But there is more to the wolf than Echo realizes.

In his enchanted house beneath a mountain, Echo discovers centuries-old secrets, a magical library full of books-turned-mirrors, and a young man named Hal who is trapped inside of them. As the year ticks by, Echo must solve the mystery of the wolf’s enchantment before her time is up—otherwise Echo, the wolf, and Hal will be lost forever.

Courting Darkness (Courting Darkness Duology, #1) Death wasn’t the end, it was only the beginning…

Sybella has always been the darkest of Death’s daughters, trained at the convent of Saint Mortain to serve as his justice. But she has a new mission now. In a desperate bid to keep her two youngest sisters safe from the family that nearly destroyed them all, she agrees to accompany the duchess to France, where they quickly find themselves surrounded by enemies. Their one ray of hope is Sybella’s fellow novitiates, disguised and hidden deep in the French court years ago by the convent—provided Sybella can find them.

Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she struggles to remember who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. Her only solace is a hidden prisoner who appears all but forgotten by his guards. When tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to take matters into her own hands—even if it means ignoring the long awaited orders from the convent.

As Sybella and Gen’s paths draw ever closer, the fate of everything they hold sacred rests on a knife’s edge. Will they find each other in time, or will their worlds collide, destroying everything they care about?

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Have a book YOU’D like to recommend to me?!  AWESOME!  Either shoot me a comment down below, or send me a recommendation on Goodreads RIGHT HERE!

What do you guys think–have you read any of these…or WANT to?  What did you think of them, if so?  Let me know your thoughts and as always…

Until next time, happy book-ing!

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Bookmark Monday 2.5

bookmarkmonday

Bookmark Monday
Hosted By:  GUILTLESS READING
Description: Do you have a bookmark you want to share? Just take a photo and link up in the linky!

Find their latest post here!

My Theme: Poetry

There’s just something about poetry that calls to me, I suppose.

As always, click on the image to go to that etsy/redbubble/society6 page!fishbreak

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Which are your favorites from this batch?  Have any bookmarks you’ve discovered recently you’d like to share with me?  Let me know below!

Until next time, happy book-ing!

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Love and Other Secrets: Pretty in Prom-Posals

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Love and Other Secrets (The First Kiss Hypothesis #2) Love and Other Secrets
(The First Kiss Hypothesis #2)
by Christina Mandelski
YA/Contemporary/Romance
150 Pages
Get a copy here!

Star lacrosse player Alex “Kov” Koviak has it all. Or so everyone thinks. He’s real good at pretending his life is perfect…until he meets Bailey. The girl challenges him and pushes him and makes him laugh like he’s never laughed before. Their friendship is their little secret, and he’s happy to keep her to himself.

Between school, two jobs, and trying to get into NYU film school, Bailey Banfield has zero time for a social life. But then she meets Alex in her express lane at the grocery store, and their secret friendship becomes the only place she can breathe. She refuses to complicate that with more. No matter how charming Alex can be.

When Bailey decides to film outrageous promposals for her NYU application, she enlists Alex’s help to plan an over-the-top, epic promposal to someone else. Too bad the only prom date Alex wants anywhere near Bailey is him.

For a guy who seems to have it all, he’s about to lose the only thing he’s ever wanted.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Crush contains a cocky lacrosse player in over his head with his secret best friend, unexpected midnight kisses, swoon-worthy slow dancing, and movie-night cuddling that’ll make you ache. You’re going to want an Alex of your own!

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3.5Penguins

Quick Reasons: cute, swoon-worthy, adorably nauseating; so much teenage angst!; I still don’t understand the whole “prom-posal” thing, but I was never prom-posed to, so that makes sense I suppose; as happens with teenagers, things got a little overly dramatic

HUGE thanks to Christina Mandelski, Entangled Publishing, LLC (Crush), and Netgalley for sending a free egalley of this title my way in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my opinions on or read of this book.

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As with all lovestruck teenage romances, this title was filled with angst. Having met these characters–however briefly–in a previous novel, I was super excited about sitting down with them again, to get to know them better. I was not overly disappointed–Christina Mandelski did them, and their own relationship struggles, just as much justice.

 

As much as I love my teenage angst, however, there were some more serious subjects touched upon here. Bullying was the biggest of them, though the author handled it with grace and aplomb. The “prom-posal” aspect seems a little ridiculous to me–mostly because that wasn’t really a thing when I was in high school. In fact, the guy who asked me to go didn’t actually ask me. I*** said somthing (in a note!!! I might add) about prom, and he was all, “Yeah, we could totally go together if you want. I guess.” (Guys, amiright?!)

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Overall, this was super cutesy and quick to read. I really enjoyed getting to know these characters a little bit better, in their own story, not as side characters in someone else’s romance. The “prom-posal” aspect brought a fun and interesting twist to the teenage angst, though I don’t fully understand it myself. I’d definitely recommend the read to lovers of high school romances, drama, and contemporaries. Now tell me–how was YOUR first kiss, Penguins?

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Top Ten Tuesday 2.4

toptentuesday

HOSTED BY: That Artsy Reader Girl–AKA Jana
DESCRIPTION:  Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Find their latest post here!

This week’s theme, as I JUST found out, is…

Best Books I Read in 2018!

Because HAPPY NEW YEAR, PENGUIN CREW!  I feel like I say “because” after giving you my themes waaaaaay too much…it’s a problem, I’ll try to work on it, but…let’s be realistic, it probably won’t change.

Also this is probably going to be a SUPER SHORT POST because I reeeeeeeeeally fell off the reading bandwagon this year, and therefore don’t have many awesome books to note.  Whoops!

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Mirage (Mirage, #1)In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.

Rating: 4.75/5 Penguins
Quick Reasons: aghhhh, my heart!; I kept forgetting this was set in a semi-futuristic world and was SUPER confused when the “listening device” was introduced; these characters give me life; I LOVELOVELOVE the concept!

See my full review here!

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Woodwalker (Woodwalker, #1) Ashes to Fire (Woodwalker, #2) Creatures of Light (Woodwalker, #3)

“What on earth would I gain from that?” I asked him. “Risk my own neck by violating my banishment just to leave you? The sentence placed on me if I return is execution. If I’m entering the mountains again, I’d damn well better get something out of it.”

Exiled from the Silverwood and the people she loves, Mae has few illusions about ever returning to her home. But when she comes across three out-of-place strangers in her wanderings, she finds herself contemplating the unthinkable: risking death to help a deposed queen regain her throne.

And if anyone can help Mona Alastaire of Lumen Lake, it is a former Woodwalker—a ranger whose very being is intimately tied to the woods they are sworn to protect. Mae was once one of the best, and despite the potential of every tree limb to become the gibbet she’s hanged from, she not only feels a duty to aide Mona and her brothers, but also to walk beneath her beloved trees once more.

A grand quest in the tradition of great epic fantasies, filled with adventure and the sharp wit—and tongue—of a unique hero, Woodwalker is the perfect novel to start your own journey into the realm of magical fiction.

Woodwalker:  Rating: 4.25/5 Penguins
Quick Reasons: fantastic action; smooth, fast-paced plot from page 1; believable, complex, and compelling characters; an explosive start to what promises to be an awesome series; THAT PLOT TWIST I CAN’T EVEN!

See my full review HERE!

Ashes to Fire: Rating: 4.5/5 Penguins
Quick Reasons: the page count lied to me!; well-rounded, complex, endearing, and totally human characters; action-packed and full of surprises; Emily B. Martin has me hooked, for sure; I almost threw my kindle, AGAIN, though for entirely different reasons this time

See my full review HERE!

Creatures of Light: Rating: 4.5/5 Penguins
Quick Reasons: the final perspective sheds light on events that started way back in book 1; I felt like Gemma’s POV was a bit stiff/formal; there were some smaller emotional moments that really helped to “shape” her for me; once again, Emily B. Martin yanked the rug out from under me; awesome conclusion to a thrilling adventure

See my full review HERE!

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Have I convinced you to pick any of these awesome reads up?!  Anyone want to buddy read with me?! I have so many other books besides these to read yet…feel free to shoot me a comment with ANY book and I’ll let you know if I own it, we can set up a buddy read thing!)

Feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments, or link me to your own Top Ten Tuesday!

Until next time, happy book-ing!

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Once Upon a [Stolen] Time: Magic Mirrors and Family Curses, OH MY!

bookreview

Once Upon A [Stolen] TimeOnce Upon a [Stolen] Time
Stolen Series #1
by Samreen Ahsan
258 Pages
Historical / Romance / Fantasy / Sci Fi
Get a copy here!

2015…
All her life, Myra Farrow has been obsessed with medieval castles—and the kings and princes who once inhabited them. Now, wealthy videogame designer Steve Bernard wants her to model for a princess character in his new game. Myra can’t resist his offer, especially when she learns that Steve plans to film inside the mysterious Hue Castle—a cursed, barren, colorless place forbidden to visitors for centuries. But unknown to Myra, her soul is bound to Hue Castle by blood and sorcery. When she enters its doors, she awakens dark powers that will reach through time—stealing her past, torturing her present, and rewriting her future.

1415…
Edward Hue, the last of the Hue royal bloodline, has never stood in the sunshine or held a living flower. Cursed from birth to live in darkness and bring death to all he touches, he is at the mercy of his cruel, tyrannical father, who will not rest until he shatters Edward’s soul and makes his son into a diabolical copy of himself. Edward’s one hope is the mysterious woman who haunts his dreams—who will either break his curse and bring him out of the darkness, or destroy him utterly.

For Myra and Edward, past and future collide in a tale of love, obsession, betrayal, and the hope for redemption.

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3Penguins

Quick Reasons: interesting plot points/story line; the characters fell way flat for me, sadly; I didn’t buy into the romance in this book at all; the curse on Edward’s family was unique, though could perhaps have done with a bit more development

HUGE thanks to Samreen Ahsan for sending a free egalley of this title my way in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

I was super intrigued by this book once I laid eyes upon the blurb. I mean… medieval castles? princes?! a twisting blend of the past and the present/modern day?! What could I possibly say NO to? Having completed my read of this novel, I am both intrigued and slightly disappointed. Let’s get into the whys and hows, shall we?

There is a certain point, as a reader, where I need to be able to buy into the romance that takes up so much of a character’s mind. It is safe to say that Myra gets bitten–HARD–by a very dangerous, poisonous case of the love bug…but I had an equally difficult time trying to understand WHY. See, from the outside looking in (haha, like Myra watching Edward through the mirror, get it?!) these characters, and their emotions, did not feel quite genuine enough for me to be able to buy into a happily-ever-after for them. Don’t get me wrong, Penguins. I rooted for them HARDCORE…but not necessarily as a couple. I rooted for Myra to…do anything but swoon over and bemoan Edward, I guess. And I rooted for Edward to be able to stand up to the family curse, and his father–to break the chain of events, to free himself (in more than 1 way), to be who he was wholeheartedly and not just in pieces. Huh…putting it in those words, these characters actually remind me a lot of Bella and Edward from Twilight–I’ll have to ponder on that some more.

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Regardless, the story WAS intriguing in other ways that I would have loved to see more development for. The curse placed upon Edward’s family, for instance–I’d have loved to have seen Samreen Ahsan go into a little more detail about that. Also, the magic of the mirrors was a key point that I felt was a bit flat and underplayed, though super interesting as an idea. I feel like, I suppose, a little TOO much of this story was granted to the “romance” and not quite enough to the story outside of the fairy tale. The side characters were very underplayed in Myra’s reality, as she was so focused on and driven to “win” Edward that the rest of life around her was basically nonexistent. Which I guess lends credence to the idea that she never really belonged in her world…but didn’t do much for developing her as a character outside of her role as love interest and curse breaker. Edward’s story, on the other hand, was filled with cruelty and development. The struggle Edward faced was horrifying and enlightening in turn. I wish Myra had been given just as much room to grow into herself.

I did have a fun time reading this, despite what my review above might lead you to believe. While the premise was interesting, the story and characters felt a bit flat to me, and I couldn’t quite buy into the actual romance portion of the novel. I’d recommend this read to lovers of Kate and Leopold, magic mirrors, and family curses. Steal a moment in time with me, Penguins–but don’t let the darkness consume you.