Fix Your Crown by Callie Rae, Alexi Ferreira, Amanda Shelley, Amaya Black, Angela Sanders, Barb Shuler, Brittany Tarkington, E.K. Woodcock, Jade Bay, Jami Denise, Jo Richardson, Khloe Summers, Ruby Wolff, Sofia Aves, Tanya Nellestein

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion. A positive review is not required.

Published on: 28 September 2021
Type: Short Stories, Anthology
Genre: Fiction Anthologies, Literary Anthologies & Collections
Author(s): Alexi Ferreira, Amanda Shelley, Amaya Black, Angela Sanders, Barb Shuler, Brittany Tarkington, Callie Rae, E.K. Woodcock, Jade Bay, Jami Denise, Jo Richardson, Khloe Summers, Ruby Wolff, Sofia Aves, Tanya Nellestein
Read: 22 September 2021
Shelved: 25 September 2021
Rating: 4 / 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Synopsis

13 Authors. 13 Women. 13 FIERCE Heroines.

Fix Your Crown is a collection of 13 stories about bold Heroines who will not be stopped.

With each purchase, we are donating 100% of the royalty to a charity that will empower women to fix their crowns.

Official Website: Fix Your Crown


Review

Reign by Alexie Ferreira

Mafia romance. Arranged marriage. Alpha main characters. 

I enjoyed the story, which talks about family, respect, sacrifice, and love – a union formed for protection and later morphs into more. The attraction is magnetic, and chemistry is sizzling that it was impossible not to believe in “perfect matches.” This story is a prologue to a bigger story, as hinted by the author.

Hoops & Scoops by Amanda Shelley

Basketball star. Met early on. Sports Romance. Second chance romance. 

A lovely story about revisiting the past and realizing how much better DeShawn and Chloe are together versus apart. The story is sweet and sassy but also with mature and characters who grew up.

Moon Magic by Angela Sanders

Paranormal romance. Witches and werewolves. Second chance romance. Chants and curses. True love. Third-person omniscient POV. 

I noted POV since it is rare for me to encounter this POV. It’s an interesting take and gives readers the all-seeing and all-knowing power. There is occasional access to the other character’s inner thoughts, which is fascinating. 

Reinventing Amber Jaymes by Barb Shuler

Motorcycle romance. Grit and drama. Band of Brothers. Dark, abusive past. Suspense and Danger. Survivor.

Note: Some violence happens.

I love how the story is all about fighting to survive and heal. The protagonist does not let her past (anymore) define her. With so many people behind her recovery, her confidence shines through spectacularly in the end.

Gabby by Brittany Tarkington

College romance. Dark high school past. Second chance. Coming out a new. New place, new phase.

Note: Mental health discussion. 

I like this sweet romance that deals with attraction from afar. The characters were sweet and cautious at the same time since both have their share of life’s disappointments and coming-of-age discoveries. There is a bit more in this story, so I will not talk a lot about it, but it’s a simple enough story with a lot of “meat” in the exchanges between two unlikely yet likely characters.

McCatherine by Callie Rae

Shady business dealings. Trophy wife. Finally, ready to fight and outwit everyone to be free. Romantic suspense.

Note: Mental and emotional manipulation described.

This story is a gut-wrenching piece from the very beginning. The story tells us the lengths people would go to bring others down with them; even the kids become pawns in this hateful game of deceit. 

Sugar and Spice by E.K. Woodcock

Coming of age. High school setting. Repressed emotions. Misunderstanding and miscommunication. Young love. Enemies-to-lovers romance. Baking and cooking experts. Second chances.

Note: Self-loathing. Self-infliction. Anxiety issues discussed. Very happy with how this story progressed.

I am in no way a fan of this trope, and it takes a lot to make me fall for this theme since things can get complicated and hurtful at some point. Instead, this story impressed and won me over. Sugar and Spice have the right amount of angst and appropriate banter for the age and time. I enjoyed this story quite a bit! It goes to show that love and attraction can find you at any age and time. Also, with proper help, anything is solvable. 

Queen Things by Jade Bay

Royal romance with elements of suspense. Commoner-Royalty connection. Marriage of convenience. Second chance. Boss lady. 

I love the book’s writing style. The author did it justice with the way she worded and presented everything in the moments where the emphasis was needed. The suspense injected in the book adds a nice touch to the story.

A few things were going on in the story, which makes it exciting. One was the happenstance meeting of the two main characters: “instant chemistry” but had to be apart, then later met up in the most unlikely places and positions. Another is the lurking danger and possible mutiny coming out to oust the upcoming reigning royalty.

It was cute to see the characters’ internal battles on sorting out their feelings for the other. This story is all about a relationship/love meant to be.

Storm Surge by Jami Denise

Women helping women. MC romance. Protector/protectee. Dark and traumatic past. Inner strength unlocked. 

This touching story is about love, healing, and redemption. The revelations that came out support the motivation on why the protagonist tries to help another. She finds parallels a troubled woman faced in the past. A life cycle repeats itself that pushes the main character to face her past – coming back and take on a bigger purpose.

A Word of Advice by Jo Richardson

A woman’s worst nightmare. A public mess exposed. Advising the advisor – from an unexpected source.

Sometimes not the person who doles out pieces of advice does not take hers. The main character had to learn from hard life lessons. One public meltdown knocked one famous blogger advice columnist down her pedestal, then later meets someone unexpectedly who might know what she is going through.

Remember Us by Ruby Wolff

Young, selfish BUT meant to be. Second chances. Making up for past mistakes. A secret unlocked. Lots of groveling involved.

This one was a challenging read because of what the female main character went through. She did show how strong she is and had the best support system. The one person that she thought would be her biggest cheerleader left her broken. The story fast forwards to about a year after, and as expected, the male protagonist comes back to tries to win the “love of his life.” Does he succeed? Will past feelings be buried? 

A Knight to Guard by Sofia Aves

Dystopian fantasy. Romantic suspense. Operation to protect. 

This story has one of the hottest intimacy scenes for a short story! This story already includes the element of mystery and suspense going on behind the scenes. I admit that I got lost in a few scenes/conversations until the revelations happened at the very end. I appreciate the ending, but I got lost on the how’s and why’s, even after re-reading the chapters. I would need to find the rest of the book/story/series to understand this particular story better because this story only shows part of the main character’s importance. It would have been awesome to find out if there’s a continuation, but the author has not hinted at it.

Once Betrayed by Tanya Nellestein

Detective drama. Romantic suspense. MC gang. Undercover cops. Disclosure: some violent scenes

What an ender! The plot was exciting, and the female lead on this was perfection. It is a first-person POV – the female character, Taya. She is not your perfect cop but a broken one trying to prove herself worthy of being where she is. I love how the story built up from Taya’s experiences internally to being assigned the case, which brought back how capable she is in her job after a tragedy. The scenes were well orchestrated and fast enough to solve all of the loose ends for the time being. The story continues further with finding the missing persons in the case both main characters were working on. This story is a prologue to a bigger story.


Overall Review:-

Overall, this anthology is a series of short stories that provides a great taste of the author’s works. Some readers may find the “ending” of that particular short or abruptly ended. While I may agree with this, I realized that I had to approach this anthology differently than regular stories. I treat some of the stories as prequels to an even bigger story. The author may have already written the next story or maybe is already in the works for the story. Nonetheless, it will surely pique your interest – believe me, that there are quite a few I am going to be looking into to find out more.

Given my comments above, this book already rocks with various stories for all readers, as discussed above. But the best part – 100% of the book sale proceeds will be donated to a charity that will empower women with breast cancer to fix their crowns. Given this beautiful cause, there is no question about this fantastic deal?!?! You’ve got the charity side and memorable stories, so as you enjoy the books, you can feel good knowing that each sale will empower women fighting to eradicate cancer.

In no particular order, my three favorite stories among the thirteen stories are Sugar & Spice by E.K. Woodcock, Gabby by Brittany Tarkington, and Once Betrayed by Tanya Nellestein.


About the Author(s)

Alexi Ferreira

Alexi Ferreira was born in Mozambique, but lived most of her life in South Africa, finally moving to England where she has lived for the last three years. Alexi is a Romantic at heart, with a passion for motorcycles and everything Paranormal. She writes Addictive, Adventurous, Romance with happy ever afters. Author of the Elementals MC, Wolverine MC, Bratva Fury and the Capella Crime Famiglia Series. 

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Amanda Shelley 

Amanda Shelley writes romantic stories you can escape into. Some are steamy, others are sweet but all have strong characters with a little bit of sass.

When not writing, Amanda enjoys time with her family, playing chauffeur, chef and being an enthusiastic fan for her children. Keeping up with them keeps her alert and grounded in reality. She enjoys long car rides, chai lattes and popping her SUV into four-wheel drive for adventures anywhere.

Amanda loves hearing from readers. Be sure to sign up for her newsletter and follow her on social media. Join her reader’s group Amanda’s Army of Readers to stay up to date on her latest information.  

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Amaya Black

Amaya Black is southern girl currently living in the Carolinas. She is a fiance and mommy to a bouncy boy and gentle pitbull. She’s been writing since she was in fourth grade and went on to major in Creative Writing at a great southern and all women’s institute.

Her motto of the moment is: “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”

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Angela Sanders

Angela Sanders is an International Bestselling author of Epic Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Urban Fantasy. She’s a multi-genre author who also writes psychological thrillers, supernatural thrillers, murder mysteries, and soon, Contemporary Romance (the sky’s the limit!). As a retired Navy Chief, wife, and mother, Angela lives in Kentucky where she enjoys writing, editing, reading, or all three.
Her son is the key to her heart; he has the writing bug, wanting to be like his mommy when he grows up. She began her writing journey, first in the political world, and then left it all behind to explore the more fantastical world of fiction. With the help and support of several authors pushing her along, she published her first book in June 2017 and has been writing since.

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Barb Shuler

Barb is a Carolina girl by right and a Texan by birth. By day she’s a desk jockey for a rural transportation company and a book lover, reading through as many books as she can. At night, though, she turns into her alter ego: a writer—cape optional, depending on her mood.

Her stories are a mix of real-life events, personal experiences, and the craziness of her own imagination and those of her best friends. And when their imaginations blend together, it can be crazy. Barb writes in multiple genres, encounters new adventures, creates new worlds, and has a fantastic time breathing life into new stories, creating something she hopes inspires anyone who reads to fall in love with them as she has.
Barb lives by one little rule: tomorrow is never guaranteed, so make sure you live each day to its fullest.

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Brittany Tarkington

Hi! I’m Brittany! I’m from East Texas where I live with my husband, son, and two dogs. I have a degree in Criminal Justice, and I used to work as a legal assistant for a criminal defense firm. These days I’m a writer and co-owner of Magnolia and Pine. I have a love-hate relationship with both CrossFit and wine. I have my days and nights mixed up, and I spend most of my time doing everything I can to avoid being productive.
I’ve always had a crazy imagination and I love writing. So, I started writing Forever Careless at the age of 21 to see if I had it in me. It was too much fluff for me, however my friends loved it. So, I wrote another; this time I pushed to boundaries of fluff.
One day, while in a very bad mood, I thought of a story without a happy ending. One with real problems and real people. A story that was very close to my heart. It nagged me constantly. Months later, I sat down and started Hazed. At first, he was going to be apart of the Forever Series. Just come in and wreck their lives. Instead, I went another route. Only weeks later, Hazed was finished. I was obsessed with it.
It took me over a year to finish my first novel and weeks to finish this one. I knew what that meant. I liked to write about bad people who do bad things. I like to get inside their minds and feel their crazy. So, if you’re looking for hearts and flowers, you won’t find them here. My stories are real and they aren’t pretty.

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Callie Rae

Callie Rae writes romantic suspense novels. She lives in southern Louisiana with a daughter, two furry pups, and one fat rabbit named Josie. You can find Callie in her garden pretending her thumb is green. Otherwise, she is mommin’ with the best.

Join her readers group here
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E.K. Woodcock

Ebru Kartal is a book blogger turned into an author. She currently has a couple of books out in the wild and is working on many others.
When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, blogging, or running after her gang of hooligans at home. Ebru lives in Cochrane, Alberta with her two lovely children and husband.
She was born in a land called “Turkey” and became Canadian in May 2015. She loves to travel and hopes to travel the world one day.

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Jade Bay

Jade Bay is the author of short and steamy HEAs that’ll make you blush! When she’s not reading or writing all of the words you can find her hanging with her two favorite humans, her husband and son. She loves her readers fiercely, and is always looking to connect and talk all things hot and steamy.

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Jami Denise⁣

Jami Denise is an author of gritty Contemporary and Romantic Suspense, including the best selling Jayne Series.
When she isn’t working on her next novel, she is watching old movies, or swooning over her son and her gorgeous grandsons.
She lives in her hometown in Southern California with a gang of wild cats.

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Jo Richardson

Jo Richardson
-> FanAddict
-> Superhero geek
-> Sarcasm academy
-> Mystery aficionado
-> Paranormally fascinated
-> Twisted sense of humor
-> Broken in oh, so many ways
-> Believer that love is perfectly imperfect
-> Sometimes, I like to write stories about any and/or all of the above.

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Khloe Summers

Khloe Summers is the best-selling author of over fifty short and steamy romance titles. Her work has been called gritty, heartfelt, and real.
​Khloe lives in sunny Florida, with her own alpha hero of over twenty years. When she isn’t writing, Khloe enjoys playing the ukulele, walking the beach, baking and hiking.​

Happily Ever After Guaranteed. 

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Ruby Wolff is an author of sexy romance and some dark romance.
​She writes sexy novels, with strong alpha men, that fight for the women they want.
​When Ruby is not writing her next book, she is spending time with her husband and two boys.

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Sofia Aves

Sofia Aves writes fast-paced police romances, suspenseful mysteries, steamy cowboys with a Montana backdrop and the occasional cheeky god. She loves reading Indie authors and hides her collection of college romance books beneath an ever-growing TBR pile.

Sofia is a mum of three crazies and an overly large fur baby who thinks she’s a teacup puppy. She loves orchids but can’t always keep them alive. Sofia lives near Brisbane, Australia.

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Tanya Nellestein

Tanya Nellestein has been recreating the fruits of her overactive imagination on paper since she was a child. She is an avid reader, writer, experience enthusiast, outstanding car vocalist, and Queen of fancy dress. Tanya writes gut-churning Viking romance, romantic suspense and crime/mystery with a romantic angle that always includes good sex and a happily ever after – eventually. She is a finalist in the Australian Romance Readers Awards in two categories including Debut Author of the Year 2020.

Tanya has always dreamed of being a writer but only recently realized she could manifest her inner fantasies well after Vikings and Sons of Anarchy had finished filming, by creating her own bad boys and feisty heroines.

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Big thanks to Literary Designs for this opportunity.

The Lawyer (The Dalton Brothers Book 1) by Marni Mann

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion. A positive review is not required.

Published on: 28 September 2021
Published by:
Type: HEA, standalone, series
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Billionaire Romance
Author: Marni Mann
Read: 15 September 2021
Shelved: 16 September 2021
Rating: 4 / 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Get it here: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Bookbub | Goodreads

Synopsis

A sexy, billionaire, Hollywood, stand-alone romance from USA Today best-selling author Marni Mann …

I’m not the type of girl who picks up a man on a rooftop bar.
Not the kind of girl who lets a man’s hands roam my body, discovering I have no panties on.
Never the girl who has hours’ worth of o’s from a smoking-hot one-night stand.

But Dominick makes it so easy to say yes.
His body, his moves, and his oh-so-wicked tongue have me saying it over and over again.
Yes, please.
Yes, more.
Yes, right there.

He worships every inch of my body, and I’m still sore the next morning when I meet him again.

This time, he’s Mr. Dalton, my sister’s cutthroat entertainment lawyer.
And he has a proposition for me.

He wants to make me famous.

Of course, that means sharing a screen with my wildly jealous sister.
It means giving up my career.
It means the whole world will suddenly know everything about me.

Which presents one catastrophic problem—Dominick doesn’t date famous people.

So, do I take a chance at becoming a Hollywood star, or do I pass up the opportunity to be with the man who gave me a taste of forever?


Review

Kendall Roy is a transplant from the East Coast to help her celebrity sister in Los Angeles. She is sweet, caring, and humble but a wild thing behind closed doors. She is not afraid to speak up to others but sacrifices a lot for her family, especially Daisy.

A chance encounter with Dominick Dalton, a hot-shot lawyer to the stars, inevitably lands her a starring role of the century. What happens next is a truckload of hot bumping/grinding, jealousy, suspense, and intrigue that will make readers blush and shock. 

The Lawyer is from Kendall and Dominick’s POVs. I am not new to the author’s works, but the series is new. Readers must note that this series is different from the author’s Moments in Boston series, which is more angst and heart-wrenching. The Dalton Brother’s series is focused on relationship/commitment building and many steamy interactions and will get any reader down for some more sexy time!

This book arrived at a perfect time – when I wanted an easy and contemporary read, compared to the angst books I have recently finished. Readers are to approach this book in the same manner – easy, fun, and light expectations. It is not something to overthink because the themes and conflicts flow well. This book talks about love, family, siblings, and celebrity fame. The conflict is from outside of Kendall and Dominick’s relationship. The story does not shrug the main characters’ relationship-building moments; on the contrary, the author shows readers the beauty of their relationship – honesty, trust, and support – through intimacy. Their time together is spent comforting and providing numerous intimate scenes, which is what I wanted!

Kendall and Dominick are portrayed well in the book. I love when the main characters learn to communicate well and are honest with each other. They pour out their feelings or can read each other because of their connection, in this case – instant connection. The relationship may be quick, but with their professional connection – they have to connect also in different levels. They listen and support each other. There is fluff but not overly problematic between them. The author shows the ugly side of fame and huge adjustments Kendall has to go through with her newfound success as she threaded the shark-infested waters of stardom. Both characters are in the state of “ride & die” for each other to make everything work out – which I ship!

When something happens that turns both their worlds “upside-down,” Kendall and Dominick are mature enough to find out how to resolve the problem. I love books with interlacing themes but do overshadow each other. The romance was in one lane that worked while the suspense stood out on its own at the right time. Family love and support are injected in proper amounts and moments in the book that levels up the book’s quality and genre.

The essential conflicts were outside the couple. Yes, some minor details in Dominick’s head needed ironing out, but that all got “sorted out” when Kendall decided to make things known early on, which immediately followed the resolution (within a chapter or two). I like the juxtaposition of Kendall and Dominick’s siblings in the story, in which they all took a more active role in driving the story. Many scenes would not work if they didn’t cause the problem or provided immeasurable support to the protagonists. They help drove the story as a whole. 

I have a side comment: I was not happy with Daisy’s stereotypical reaction to everything. I believe it was extreme that was too sinister and too vindictive expected with bratty celebrities. I understand the author’s purpose of having everyone abhor and “turn their backs” from Daisy, which is redundant. I love how Kendall saw things with Daisy and started to stand up for herself. Kendall called out a lot of Daisy’s reactions and motives, which was good. I am happy that after much talk, advice, and self-reflection, Daisy redeemed herself.  

Overall, if you want hot, steamy, and feverish interaction between two incomplete yet genuine and fantastic characters, look no further than The Lawyer. I love seeing Dominick’s wall crumble and succumb to being in a committed relationship. I do want to mention that although a lot were predictable, I did not foresee the ending. It made things a lot interesting in the end. 


About Marni Mann

Marni Mann, USA Today Bestselling author, knew she was going to be a writer since middle school. While other girls her age were daydreaming about teenage pop stars, Marni was fantasizing about penning her first novel. She crafts sexy, titillating stories that weave together her love of darkness, mystery, passion, and human emotions. A New Englander at heart, she now lives in Sarasota, Florida, with her husband and their two dogs, who have been characters in her books. When she’s not nose deep in her laptop, working on her next novel, she’s scouring for chocolate, sipping wine, traveling, or devouring fabulous books.

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Release Promotion: Tempting Fate by Gwen Kleist

Can they mix business and pleasure, or are they just tempting fate? 

Tempting Fate by Author Gwen Kleist is AVAILABLE NOW!

  ♦ ♦ ♦

Carrie Thomas arrives in Las Vegas with one goal in mind: land The Grand Portofino Casino account. So getting stuck, twice in one day, with the hottest man alive puts more than a little crimp in her plans. Especially when she learns the man she’s craved since their tryst in the elevator is her new client.

Jack Dillon is at the top of his game. Burned by women in the past and consumed with building his empire, falling in love is the last thing on his agenda. But when Carrie walks into his life, all bets are off. Too bad she’s determined to keep their relationship strictly business.

But Jack is used to getting what he wants. And he wants Carrie. Two weeks of giving in to their desires and fun in Sin City. It’s an offer she can’t refuse. Can they mix business and pleasure, or are they just tempting fate?

Buy Now: https://books2read.com/TemptingFateGwenKleist

Add to your GOODREADS TBR here

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 About the Author

Gwen Kleist writes contemporary romance novels set in some of the world’s most glamorous destinations. 

Author, travel writer, and PR professional, Gwen has been writing for as long as she can remember. An avid traveler, she loves weaving amazing destinations into her novels. In addition to writing romance, she runs the family travel website www.CaliforniaFamilyTravel.com. Her work has also appeared in numerous publications, and she was a contributing author to Explorer Publishing’s guidebook, Los Angeles: The Complete Resident’s Guide.

Gwen lives with her husband and son in Southern California. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

Connect with Gwen:

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Special Audio Release: Heartbreak Beat by Elle Greco

Title: HEARTBREAK BEAT
Version: Audio Book
Author: Elle Greco
Narrator: Ramona Master
Series: LA Rockstar Romance #1
Release on: 24 September 2021
Check it out here: Anchor | Spotify


You are about to take on the rock and roll ride of your life!

Heartbreak Beat, the first book in the Amazon best-selling LA Rock Star Romance series, is coming to Spotify!

Heartbreak Beat on Spotify weaves the rock star romance with rock and roll music. This new audio experience, which features narration by Ramona Master, is a feast for your ears with a story that feeds your soul.

Each episode includes two music tracks featuring a variety of independent and established music artists from Spotify’s extensive music catalog, ranging from veteran rocker Joan Jett to indie artist Jill Fiore.

Heartbreak Beat is the first book in the explosive LA Rock Star Romance series. If you like a little grit with your glam, a sexy lead singer, and a badass woman on drums, you’ll adore Elle Greco’s addictive tale. 

The audio version of Heartbreak Beat releases on Spotify on September 24, where it streams for free on the ad supported platform. It is available to purchase as well at all major audiobook retailers (Amazon, Kobo, Apple, Barnes and Nobel, and more).


Synopsis

Fierce and feisty drummer Nikki Benson is enlisted to go on tour with her stepbrother Dion’s band. Sparks fly, and not necessarily the good kind, as Nikki and Dion cope with growing feelings between them, and the pressure of surviving in the cut-throat music industry, while working the tour grind.

The only thing more intense than their rivalry is their chemistry. Will they break up the band or play the ultimate love song?


About the Author

Elle Greco writes fiction about badass women (and the people they love). All the books in her LA Rock Star Series (Heartbreak Beat, Love Song, Songbird, and Fade Into You) have topped the Amazon charts. Readers love their gritty, realistic settings and the angsty romance.

Elle studied playwright in college but her career took a detour and she worked in journalism and then entertainment publicity for over 20 years. Her “day job” took her from gritty rock clubs in The Bowery to glam red carpets during movie premieres and awards shows. Her background working with talent (and the suits) in the industry has served her well with the LA Rock Star Romance series.

A few years ago, she decided to pursue her original passion, and a few full-length novels later, here we are.

In addition to writing steamy romance, she hosts the podcast Steam Scenes, where she talks to fellow romance authors about writing “the naughty bits.”

Connect with Elle
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For Love Or Honey by Staci Hart

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion. A positive review is not required.

Published on: 21 September 2021
Type: HEA, series, standalone
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Author: Staci Hart
Read: 12 Sept 2021
Shelved: 14 September
Rating: 4 / 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Get it here: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Bookbub | Goodreads

Synopsis

When the devil comes to town, you have to meet him head-on.
Which is exactly what I did when Grant Stone rolled into our small Texas town, driving a sports car I could fit in the bed of my truck, wearing a suit as black as his soul. He’s here to acquire mineral rights to half a dozen farms in town.
And there’s no way he’s getting mine.
I don’t make deals with the devil.
So when he challenges me to show him the small town ropes, my motivation is the prospect of seeing him make a fool of himself. He might have an angle, but if he thinks he can finagle me into endangering my bee farm, he’s got another thing coming.
Until the line in the sand is washed away.
My farm in danger. A town in upheaval. A man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.
And me in the middle.
When the devil comes to town, you have to meet him head-on.
And when he sneaks into your heart, he’ll only break it.


Review

Jo Blum lives in Lindenbach and works at their family bee farm. The farmland has shale deposits that Flexion wants to buy the rights to mine the c coming into their small town. She is determined to stop Flexion from taking advantage of the townspeople and spreading inaccurate information about fracking. 

Given this, Flexion hires Grant Stone, who goes from farm to farm and convinces them to sell our rights to the shale under their properties. Yes, he is the handsome guy with a hidden agenda that will complicate the story. Things get a lot more tricky with a proposed “challenge” between Jo and Grant.

Without giving away too much, here are a few things I like about For Love or Honey:-

1.) Writing gets better and better with each series!

This book is not my first time reading the author. Since her Austin series, I knew I was a goner! The book is a standalone and part of the Small Town Romance series. Readers can jump into this book or any of the books series. I love how each book she writes evolves into something even better than the last books in the series. The author has polished and strengthened her storytelling abilities in a way that is way polished than her writing from last year. The conflict has more at stake than the rest of the books I have encountered for this author. It’s a whole town!!!

2.) Character transformation for the better.

Both main characters change in this book, and that’s what I love most about books – growing, organic characters – one that comes out better with each other versus alone. 

I love the honesty and vulnerability of Jo and Grant. Ironically, the most vulnerable character between the two is Grant, who seems to be the most “put-together,” but not! As I got to know Grant, he became a relevant character that I was rooting for at the end. 

Coming in, Grant is a “loaded character.” He carries a considerable amount of baggage (hung-ups) that becomes more evident when Jo starts showing him her side of the world – away from his khaki pants, big city glitz, and flashy cars. She shows him the intrinsic value of family, contentment, and happiness. With this, Grant started to look introspectively and realized everything he held necessary before wasn’t anymore. The final’s draw finally crumbled down when an unexpected visitor would later invalidate Grant’s purpose, identity for that character. 

Jo is a strong and memorable character. She is impressionable and embodies family love and duty. I love how her mind works, trying to see if she can “break” or “convert” Grant through the “challenges” she imposes on him. It was sneaky, sly, and ingenious! She didn’t expect her plan to backfire and later exposed her vulnerability by learning to trust Grant. The end product was hilarious yet transformative for everyone.

3.) Well researched background and information.

So many details dived into the bee business, the fracking operations, and family dynamics will make readers keep going. Many of the scenes went into the fracking and bee farm business. The details were overwhelming but enough to help me understand and appreciate the business. 

Note: As I read through the author’s acknowledgment, I found out that the book’s sentiments have some basis on her family heritage and background. It’s cute and adds more to the book’s beauty, like an ode to her family.

4.) Off the charts chemistry!

When Jo and Grant do “hook up,” it was explosive! The joking banters later translate into heated passion and intimacy – HOT HOT HOT! There were many scenes that Jo and Grant took advantage of because they foresaw everything between them as temporary. 

5.) Revisiting interrelated/past characters.

It is nice how the author brought in past characters from the books in the series – in this case, it was from Friends with Benedicts’ Presley and Sebastian. These characters came with a purpose to the story. They either helped Jo and Grant focus on their feelings or reinforced how wonderful they are as individuals. 

I have a short rant. I felt there were a few missing elements at the end. Yes, readers will get the angst and conflict sorted, main characters finding their HEA, and the book never loses the love story of Jo and Grant, BUT I still had more questions! Unanswered questions that were mentioned in the book but had no resolution in the end. Maybe the author felt that things got sorted out in the ending, but I didn’t get it. There were still others in the town that had to give up a lot, so I want to know: (1) what came about with the fundraising effort of Main Street? (2) What will happen to Flexion’s fracking efforts in the town? There were no hints of what will be next on this, but I wish the town well, and Flexion will disappear.

Overall, For Love or Honey is a fun and feel-good read! It is definitely for the “enemies-to-lovers” tropes and the steamy, forced proximity genre readers. The writing is clear and easy to follow. Readers will love the strong, determined, and independent women at the forefront of the book – the Blum women. I liked how all characters grow and evolve to be their best versions, aside from the main characters. I love the book’s message of finding happiness with the right person. This book have you look at honey and bees in a whole new way!


About the Author

Staci Hart has been a lot of things up to this point in her life: a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom to three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, even though she’s certainly not the cleanest, nor is she the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party–especially if she’s been drinking whiskey–and her favorite word starts with f and ends with k.

From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north in Denver, where snow is magic and the mountains have become home. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, gaming, or designing graphics.

Connect with Staci
Amazon | Apple | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Website | Email


Sing You Home (Nashville Star Series 1) by Ava Hunter

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Published on: 20 September 2021
Type: HEA, standalone, series
Genre: Country Romance, Second-Chance Romance, Contemporary Romance
Author: Ava Hunter
Read: 13 July 2021
Shelved: 15 July 2021
Rating: 4 / 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Get it here: Amazon | Barnes&Noble
Add Sing Your Home to your TBR: Goodreads | Bookbub

Synopsis

It’s been nine months since country superstar Luke Kincaid lost his wife in a tragic plane crash. Unable to cope with the pain of losing her, Luke is damn close to giving it all up—the music, his band, even his life. Until he learns his wife is alive. He rushes to bring her home, only to find himself heartbroken as the woman he loves has no memory of him or their life together.

Sal wants to remember this tall, tan country singer who’s true, kind and hot as hell. As Luke struggles to help her revive her memories, as well as his own flailing music career, danger threatens their second chance. The madman responsible for Sal’s disappearance has found her, and will stop at nothing to claim what is his.

With Sal’s life hanging in the balance, Luke vows to do what he couldn’t do the first time—protect his wife at any cost.

The entire Nashville Star series is coming soon!

0.5. Know You More (Sal and Luke’s prequel) ➜ here
1. Sing You Home
2. Find You Again
2.5 Love You Always (novella)
4. Need You Now
5. Bring You Back


Review

Note: There is a prequel called Know You More, which talks about how an emergency paramedic, Salinger “Sal” Sutton, met a busking yet promising musician, Luke Kincaid, briefly but made the biggest impression on each other. It also talks about how the Brother’s Kincaid found their manager and later success in Nashville’s country music scenes. Some of these details were mentioned in Sing You Home, but to get the full details, I recommend you to read through this book first or revisit it after reading Sing You Home.

Sing You Home talks about what happens after Luke and Sal, already married but goes through some things; then Sal ends up in an accident that causes her to forget who she is. She has been missing for a few months until her brother-in-law, Luke’s brother, recognized her. Sal may have found her way back into the arms of her husband Luke, but there is a lot more to the story than a “missing-person-now-found” plot. The story is told from multi-character POVs but will not confuse since each part is written and indicated well. The tone and writing style are easy to read and relate to. Readers will easily relate to the characters since the story is told well and clearly though outside forces out to destroy what Sal and Luke have.

It was impossible not to connect with the characters since readers will feel the deep emotional connections between Luke and Sal from the start. Their love pours out from the pages, even if Sal has no recollection of her life with Luke. Her instincts knew him as someone special. The path to recalling who the real Sal Salinger is a long road filled with pain and disappointments. But with the help of Luke, family, and therapy, she found herself again and even unearthed more than she bargained, which led to surprising discoveries.

The supporting characters were stellar. There was a lot with the whole band of Brothers Kincaid and their spouse lending their support in rounding the book from being too serious with appropriate comic relief and a lot of “saving” done by Seth and Lacey. 

Seth has been integral in finding Sal and being her soul-supporter as she unfolds her missing pieces to her memories. Her sister, Lacey, feverishly protected and made sure Sal got better and healed. Both Lacey and Seth are fine examples of true friends and supporters who will do anything for her.

I love the mystery, suspense, and scandalous elements in the book. Not all things that happened in the book are simple. Trust me to tell you that intricate and messy secrets will come out that will lead Sal into threatening situations out of her control. I appreciate how the suspense parts did not overshadow the epic love story between Sal and Luke.

How the author wrote the ending would make readers squeeze the living daylights of their book or, in my case, my Kindle! I was on the edge of my seat to find out if Sal was in a very precarious position in her own home.
**Readers, expect to hold on to their sanity because this one is a doozy!

In summary, Sing You Home is a story full of love, sacrifices, suspense, and redemption. It shows readers that they will always find and end up together no matter Sal and Luke’s path. The best parts were the heartfelt song lyrics included in the book that show how much Sal and Luke’s love is beyond the norm and eternal. Their journey is a great benchmark that shows what being married is all about – unending love, compassion, support, and forgiveness. I cannot wait to see whose story will be in the next book series!


About the Author

Ava Hunter is a strong believer in black coffee, red wine, and the there’s-only-one-bed trope. She writes contemporary romance with healthy amounts of angst where the damsels are never quite damsels, but the men they love (good, bad and rugged) are always there for them. Her first series, Nashville Star, centers on sexy country singers and their honky-tonk drama-filled lives.

Ava is married to her high school sweetheart, loves writing strong, stubborn women that only make their men fall harder, and adores all things pink, and can never ever get enough of protector romance.

Connect with Ava Hunter
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

Everything You Need to Know Before You Read The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

Starting the Poppy Wars Book 1 soon and this is a great prologue to readers who want to know a bit more about Chinese heritage, history and politics. So happy that this was done!

Thank you Tiffany and Kevin for this!

PS: Will be linking this when I do post my review of the book(s). 🙂

Read By Tiffany

As we near the release of The Burning God, my heart is breaking at the thought of one of my favorite trilogies ending. In the last 5 years, R.F. Kuang has solidified her place as one of the Science-Fiction Fantasy genre’s greatest writerswith her debut trilogy, The Poppy War.

With the series coming to a close, there has been a lot more hype in the online reading community (looking at you, Twitter) to pick up the books, and while I’m usually the first to throw this book at everyone to read, it’s important to understand how The Poppy War draws from history and East Asian culture.

In my opinion, there are two ways to read TPW trilogy. The first is to read it as any other fantasy novel, and the second is through an analytical lens and understanding of the history it discusses. This is a series…

View original post 3,704 more words

Flash (Badges of the Capital Book 1) by Misha Blake

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion. A positive review is not required.

Published on: September 14, 2021
Type: HEA, series
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Suspense/Mystery, Drama, Second Chances
Author: Misha Blake
Read: September 2021
Shelved: September 2021
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Get it here: Amazon | Goodreads

Synopsis

Lieutenant Lucas ‘Flash’ Walker is the epitome of an everyday hero, one who’s hotter than the very inferno he battles. In the midst of an out-of-control fire, Luke’s life turns upside-down, in the worst way since it nearly claims the life of his best friend and fellow firefighter, but also in the best way because what he doesn’t expect is to meet the woman who’ll dictate the beating of his heart in the core of that very hell.

For Firefighter Ella Matthews there’s no better way to battle a haunting past than by making it a present. Or so she believes when she searches for a fresh start in the very city that witnessed her entire life go up in flames sixteen years ago. What she doesn’t foresee in her new beginning is the handsome, charming man she helps out of an inferno.

Unexpectedly as it is, in that instant their worlds collide, sparks fly and they ignite into the flames of a passion that renders them powerless and leaves them craving for more.

But a fresh start might be harder to find than expected. Not when there’s a serial arsonist on the loose who hits closer and closer to home. Not when Ella’s tarnished, crashed and burned legacy left scars and a past that still haunts her. But especially not when amidst an unfolding investigation once they learn more than they bargained for, Luke and Ella find themselves fighting against the clock. One that threatens to break them apart once and for all. Whatever their future brings, they are determined to fight against the merciless odds till the very end for one more stab at that passion that consumes them so thoroughly.


Review

Luke Walker is a D.C. lieutenant and is one of the characters mentioned in Sinner’s Deceit. His job is not easy, and with recent trauma to his personal life – an accident and a break-up, things are taking a toll on Luke. Coming into Flash, Luke reshifted his priorities to center more on work – with a serial arsonist on the loose in his city, targetting firefighters; while trying to mend his heart. 

After needing a fresh start, Ella Matthews is a newly transferred firefighter from Texas to D.C. – back to her hometown. She has a past that seemed more complex than first implied in the synopsis. She wants to heal, and helping people is her penance. 

In one of the fire rescues, Ella meets a mysterious man (cue in Luke), who she saves and, in the process, makes her toes tingle and fill her stomach with butterflies. But nope, Ella does NOT want to find out who the mysterious man is, even if she keeps thinking about him even months after the event. Things do not help when her colleagues have been trying to set her up since she arrived at Station 22. 

I may be biased with liking Flash because (1) I have been waiting quite a bit for Luke’s story, and (2) I love the author’s writing style and storytelling from the very beginning. Always expect the unexpected is in all my book reviews with her, if you can search it. No matter how much I try, I am still always wrong versus what happened, and I LOVE IT! The author never takes it easy for readers like me. Nope – no easy, straightforward route, so each revelation, clue, secret shared, etc., is complex, huge, and jaw-dropping – wait till you get to the final few chapters.

Appreciate the following:-

(a) The symbolism in the book is perfect and brings in deeper emotions than Luke first realized. This implication was pointed out by someone very close since it did not dawn on him.

(b) The flow of the story is excellent. There is a good balance of clues, mystery, and romance. This book is what romantic suspense should be – not too much of the other.

(c) The plot and “rounding out ending” are nicely done! 

The station location, accountability of the characters, connection and build-up, was correctly executed, which made everything believable.

I love deception in the story. These were all successfully executed. There were a lot of concepts mentioned: (1) the “grass is greener on the other side,” (2) choosing better life decisions, (3) owning up to one’s decisions, and my favorite (4) is about how we all have a choice – to do good or bad” are quintessential things discussed at length in the book. These lessons will never get old for readers.

(d) The love, the family dynamics, connection, and juxtaposition between Luke & his family versus Ella & family (the good and the bad) is spot-on! I hope the readers understand that there will be times of sacrifice and fighting back. I love how the theme of “family” enhanced Ella’s and Luke’s compatibility.

(e) I love how the story did not just revolve around Ella and Luke since they had to deal with other necessary things versus just their feelings. There are a lot of lives counting on them – saving and solving.

(f) There were a lot of H-O-T scenes that got off too well—balanced with the suspense elements, but when it came time for Luke and Ella’s intimacies – unbelievably satisfying!

(g) You know I will mention this and but I love past book series’ cameo – my favorite to boot! I am sure their appearance is NOT because they are firefighters (hint hint) and will have more impact on getting to know Luke and Ella.

✅ perfect plot pace
✅ HOT, steamy romance
✅ balanced focus of mystery/suspense and romance
✅ drama and angst
✅ bantering and flirting galore

~*~*~

In summary, Flash is an excellent read for suspense, mystery, and romance buffs! I knew I would like Luke’s story even more! 

Since I am a big fan of suspense/mystery, which this has, I can’t even fathom if I liked the plot/story versus Sinner’s Deceit!?! Both leading players are linked in some ways but have different experiences altogether. 

My feelings for Luke are less angst (as it should be since he’s Luke) but a lot of internal sorting out, which I would want him to do when comparing his feelings about the accident, the case, and his personal life. It discusses excellent themes of family, friendship, and love. Perfect combination and is what I expect from your books. 

I do not have anything unfavorable to say about this book. I liked it more as I pondered about it after finishing the book (days after to exact) and made everything real and believable. 

The preview of the next book in the series is a whole lot different (180-degrees) to this one, I think. I will need to prepare myself when the author brings the angst, hurt, sacrifices, and drama to a whole new level. One of the following main character’s confessions at the end of the book brought me to tears!


Meet the Author

Misha Blake is a new young author who lives her life in rainy England.
She has only just begun her long-postponed and long-overdue journey into the world of writing, but she is no stranger to romance herself.
Misha finds her inspiration for her books in everything that surrounds her, in her family, friends, and even the strangers on the streets.
Her genre is steamy romance with a pinch of suspense and drama. It surrounds around strong and sexy heroes who dare falling in love and loving the heroines who are just as incredibly stubborn as they are alluring.

Connect with Misha
Instagram | Facebook | Amazon

The Bones of Ruin by Sarah Raughley

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion. A positive review is not required.

Published Date: 07 September 2021
Published by: Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Historical, Fantasy
Author: Sarah Raughley
Read: 07 September 2021
Shelved:
11 September 2021
Rating: 3 / 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐

Support Independent Bookstores! Books-A-Million | Bookshop.org | IndieBound | Indigo CA | Powell’s

Get it here: Amazon| | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play | Audible

Add to your Bookbub | Goodreads TBR today!

**I participated on a Bookstagram Tour for this book. You can find out more about it here.

Synopsis

An African tightrope walker who can’t die gets embroiled in a secret society’s deadly gladiatorial tournament in this thrilling historical fantasy set in an alternate 1880s London, perfect for fans of The Last Magician and The Gilded Wolves.

As an African tightrope dancer in Victorian London, Iris is used to being strange. She is certainly a strange sight for leering British audiences always eager for the spectacle of colonial curiosity. But Iris also has a secret that even “strange” doesn’t capture…​

She cannot die.

Haunted by her unnatural power and with no memories of her past, Iris is obsessed with discovering who she is. But that mission gets more complicated when she meets the dark and alluring Adam Temple, a member of a mysterious order called the Enlightenment Committee. Adam seems to know much more about her than he lets on, and he shares with her a terrifying revelation: the world is ending, and the Committee will decide who lives…and who doesn’t.

To help them choose a leader for the upcoming apocalypse, the Committee is holding the Tournament of Freaks, a macabre competition made up of vicious fighters with fantastical abilities. Adam wants Iris to be his champion, and in return he promises her the one thing she wants most: the truth about who she really is.

If Iris wants to learn about her shadowy past, she has no choice but to fight. But the further she gets in the grisly tournament, the more she begins to remember—and the more she wonders if the truth is something best left forgotten.


Review

Heartstopping action, drama, and revelations are things that have come popping out of my head since I opened this book. I don’t know if I’m turning into a “softie,” but this book got me palpitating like crazy in many scenes. What something new, something macabre, and unique to read – this is the one!

I love the colorful and descriptive characters and locations. Each scene is told in explicit detail from the curtains to the table’s centerpiece (i.e. ” a white pillar, taut in bronze candlewick, towering over a man’s skull’s – its mouth glinted as its bones screamed a silent oath”) – all in full appreciation of this reader! I enjoy this technique since this adds to the mystery of what secrets Irish supposedly running away from, though some readers may find it slow.

The story is told from a multiperson POV, not only Iris’. It may sound a bit daunting since there were a good number of characters in the story. Although it is written consistently for all the characters, I had to read slower to find character reference points whenever I entered each chapter. No problems on this since the details provided per thought and conversation are essential to remember. 

Aside from trying to find out Iris’ strange/foreign past, the story has a lot of things happening, like discovering “freaks” around London – the good and the bad ones, surviving (and hopefully winning) the trials set forth by the Enlightenment Committee, searching for Adam’s father, and more…

Think of the Hunger Games but leveled up to a more horrific level as Iris and her team faces competitors inside and outside the challenges that will test their wit, ingenuity, and “stomach” with all the strange circumstances everyone finds themselves in. Many secrets and agendas were unearthed/revealed slowly, so readers – be ready.

The teams that compete in the challenges are something. I enjoyed getting to know each of them and their unique skills as Iris bumped into them in random places. Some powers were typical, but many (okay, okay – most, if not all) were “out-of-the-box,” fascinating, and too grotesque to be a possibility. I am still reeling from remembering a few of those “abilities.” I won’t be mentioning them since I firmly believe that reading is believing at this point. All I can say – all this boggles my mind up to now. I wish the author would dive into some background of the other supporting characters since their stories intrigued me – in the hints they provided. 

Before anything, I want to love this book, and I thought I did until the ending missed the mark. There are a few issues in the book that puzzled me:-

1.) Character development needs improvement

Although I am very invested in the story, I had trouble connecting to the other characters outside Iris’ circle. Plus, even her two teammates, who were supposed to be on her side and kept reassuring her, sent different signals and confusing feelings that I doubt they were there for her with their constant reassurance. FYI – at least one of them kept his word. 

I can see the author pushing with the reverse harem, but this one feels different from other RH I’ve encountered in the past. The characters didn’t have time to connect, so commitment and loyalty were not as strong as RH readers would expect.

I want to love these other characters – flaws and all but the author couldn’t discuss them. I would have been okay reading a longer book about the characters’ flashbacks instead of before “the next trial” events. If the latter was shortened and more character backstories shared, I would have a different view of the book.

Note: I liked that the author wrote in sexuality with sensitivity, but not much about the others aside from a few helpful hints offered at inconvenient times in the story, when something bigger is happening that shoves the “revelation” aside.

2.) Some events fell flat.

A few events left me puzzled:- one moment there’s a huge fight, then they escape without problems or “alarms” going off. Granted that everything is “underground” or “confidential,” but there were moments that the “mad scientist” was supposed to be chasing them. Still, they outran them all with a carriage and ended up not encountering these “dangerous people” again? It felt a bit half-baked at times, while some moments were stellar. The inconsistency becomes more blatant nearing the last few chapters.

3.) Iris was confusing.

Only at the very last few paragraphs of the book, Iris started to accept her fate, and it is still a “maybe,” which frustrates me even more. There is so much proof of what she is and what she can do, but her denial is killing me. She needs to find a way to help everyone, but instead, she retreats to herself after finding out a bit of her past! I wanted the story to end with a strong MC, wherein Iris will push through. In the end, she does resolve some things and enlightens a few characters, but it seems “half-baked” with Iris feeling more alone than at the start.

Overall, The Bones of Ruin is a book full of danger, suspense, and complexities that may keep fantasy readers glued to their seats. It will capture your imagination and take you further – to surprise and enchant – through superb storytelling and fascinating characters. It will sweep you away to the adventure, twists, and turns – many explosive and unexpected revelations. It will appeal to readers who want their duology with an unexpected ending. I know I was half-heartedly lost, but this might be because this is very new. I will most likely push through to the next book to discover how the “new character” who comes in at the last chapter plays into the bigger story. 


About the Author

Sarah Raughley grew up in Southern Ontario writing stories about freakish little girls with powers because she secretly wanted to be one. She is a huge fangirl of anything from manga to SF/F TV to Japanese Role Playing Games, but she will swear up and down that she was inspired by ~Jane Austin~ at book signings. On top of being a YA Writer, she is currently completing a PhD in English, because the sight of blood makes her queasy (which crossed Medical School off the list).

She is represented by The Bradford Literary Agency. So far, you can also find her on Twitter, where work ethic goes to die.

Connect with Sarah: Website | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Amazon | BookBub


Giveaway Alert

Up for grabs will be TWO (1) finished copies of The Bones of Ruin by Sarah Raughley. This giveaway will be open to U.S. residents only and will run from August 29th to September 13th at 11:59 PM CST. Two winners will be chosen. To enter, click the link here!


Made possible by Turn The Page Tours

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Disclosure: All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Published on: 06 October 2021
Published by: Tor Books
Type: standalone
Genre: Fantasy Action & Adventure, Historical Fantasy, Romance, LGBTQ+, Coming of Age, Love Triangle
Author: V.E. Schwab (also known as Victoria Schwab)

Read: 03 September 2021
Shelved: 06 September 2021
Rating: 5 / 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Support Independent Bookstores! Books-A-Million | Bookshop.org | Indigo CA | IndieBound | Audio via Libro.fm

Other retailers: Amazon US | UK | CA | AU
Waterstone UK | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | MacMillan Publishing | Google Play | Audible

Add to your Bookbub | Goodreads TBR!

Synopsis

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue has it own dedicated website, so check it out here.
Start reading an excerpt of the book!

Take an interactive tour of the New York City sites visited by Addie, Henry, and Luc. Warning: contains minor spoilers.

Check out the playlist on Spotify here.

Note: there are a lot of special editions for this book so you know that readers are fanatic collectors. **guilty over here** A few of the awesome variations of the cover is below – so awesome!

This book is BEAUTIFUL from the stain printing and the golden ribbon bookmark!
I like the classic look on this.
These are great color combination to contrast the original black one.
I love the color scheme of blues and yellow/gold – it works!

Want to see more? Check out the rest of them here.


Review

Trigger Warnings: discussion of drugs, depression, mental health, religion, sexuality.

Adeline “Addie” LaRue is a dreamer. She wants a life outside the prospect of being a wife that will take care of her husband and bear him children in her small community in France. Addie would always discourage suitors and found creative ways to make these men look the other way. Until one day, Addie couldn’t escape the inevitable. She was to marry a widower upon her parent’s arrangement. And on that wedding day – it became the day she traded her humanity for forever. What happens next is a series of lives that Addie had to live through – some days were full of wonder and amazement on the beauty of the world, while other days were crushing enough to make her want to give up.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (“Invisible Life“) is not my first encounter with the author’s work. I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s City of Ghosts series and expected the same for this book, plus I was very curious based on the book title. While City of Ghosts’ writing is geared towards a middle-grade audience, Invisible Life is marketed to young adults/adults, a more extensive and demanding set of readers. Would I be able to transition to adult by the same author seamlessly? I have NOT encountered such a variation/combination yet and freshly after City of Ghosts. Will I be more critical about the tune and writing of this book versus the previous one? I was worried about shattering my perception of the author. I did have Invisible Life in my TBR for a while now, but after a friend/Youtuber/booktuber highly recommended it in her last video, this gave me “the push” to get the book. Man, oh, man, I am so glad I took her advice.

Like Peter, in J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. There, at the end, when Peter sits on he rock, the memory of Wendy Darling sliding from his mind, and it is sad, of course, to forget. But it is a lonely thing, to be forgotten. To remember when no one else does. I remember, whispers the darkness, almost kind, as if he’s not the one who cursed her.

– The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, V.E. Schwab

The story revolves around Addie’s and later Henry’s POVs. Both characters’ stories are heavier and loaded than I anticipated. Wishes, secrets, desires, and later regret fill each episode shared to readers. Many revelations surprised me; many twists were unexpected yet cunningly written. Addie’s story is the reverse of the movie – Fifty First Dates, where everyone else forgets Addie and everything involving her. Cute and has a very new perspective with a lot of twists. In contrast, Henry’s story reminds me of Genesis’ story of Adam and Eve regarding temptation and contentment. He didn’t realize what he was getting himself into when he met Addie and the connections that will spew out – confessions and revelations.

I LOVE ADDIE! She is the epitome of perseverance, determination, wit, and sometimes too smart for her own good! Many moments in the story would break a character, given the obstacles she faced, like surviving three hundred years with no name or friends. She made it all work out and thrived as best as she could to “beat the odds” and “bend” her curse by her terms. Addie grows wiser each time readers meet her, and with sheer ingenuity, hints of her existence start to seep into the world.

They do not fit together perfectly. He was not made for her the way Luc was – but this is better, because he is real, and kind, and human, and he remembers.

– The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, V.E. Schwab
Love this! Art by @rosiethorm88 via author’s IG.

Addie and Henry’s flashbacks are a welcome relief! They give readers a glimpse of the fascinating and sometimes dark (traumatic) encounters Addie and Henry went through before their meeting. Take, for example – for Addie’s, wherein at each chapter’s end, memories of Addie seen in the person she is interacting with fades out a few minutes right there and then! For Henry’s experience, the inability to “find his place/purpose” or being empty is the issue, even if he’s in a sea of people. I enjoyed the artwork associated with the start of the parts. Seven of these artworks (about 3-20 chapters within) are appropriate and related to the upcoming chapters or reinforced the previous chapters/sections.

I relish and was giddy with Addie and Henry’s love story even under precarious circumstances – they made it work. It provides hope to readers regarding having someone beyond time and space – right time, right place. But like in all great love stories, there are many complications to be “together.” There were many secrets, tears, and angst that will have readers hold their breath. The plot twist and resolution were a shock! I am still a mess from “ugly-crying” nearing the end and am still distraught. Granted, I was happy with how the author ended (?) the book, but my heart and brain are still analyzing everything. I did like what Addie did, and somehow after three hundred years, she grew and outwitted everyone her way – and it was spectacular! 

To wrap things up, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a stunning, compelling, haunting, profound, and moving story. It will appeal to fantasy, paranormal, romance, and outlier readers who want “more” in a story, its characters, and plot twists. The story is an addictingly captivating read that brings many reflective points. It questions readers on the value of a “full life” – its fragility, unpredictability, and purpose. How to quantify a meaningful life is at the forefront of the book, and I couldn’t help but partake of Addie’s immeasurable burden because of her wish. The plot twists are refreshing and take a unique stance on the price of immortality and the value of life – something I have yet to read as a reviewer. I believe this might be the same for other readers also. The story and its message will make readers dig within themselves and empathize with all the characters (yes, even Luc) in the book. Invisible Life made me obsess over Addie, Luc, and Henry!

So readers, let me ask you:- Is the price for immortality worth it if you can only live on the sidelines?

They have both chosen seams, those ragged lines where things are neither here or there, but balanced on the brink. And Addie wonders, half to herself, “Would you rather feel nothing or everything?”

– The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, V.E. Schwab

PS: Do I sense a subsequent book or epilogue? I hope so, but either way, I know Addie will come out on top because she definitely proved to be far braver or smarter than anyone expected!


About the Author

Victoria (V.E.) Schwab is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen books, including the acclaimed Shades of Magic series, This Savage Song, Our Dark Duet, City of Ghosts and Vicious. Her work has received critical acclaim, has been featured in the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Washington Post, and more, has been translated into more than a dozen languages, and has been optioned for television and film.

Victoria is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, she has been known to say “tom-ah-toes,” “like,” and “y’all.” She also tells stories. She loves fairy tales, and folklore, and stories that make her wonder if the world is really as it seems.

When she’s not haunting Paris streets or trudging up English hillsides, she lives in Nashville and is usually tucked in the corner of a coffee shop, dreaming up monsters.

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