Review: Expiation (Touched Saga #4) by Elisa S. Amore

Title: Expiation
Author: Elisa S. Amore
Series: Touched Saga #4
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
One great sacrifice will end it all—but can true love ever be forgotten?
Prepare yourself for a journey with no return.

How can you look forward to the future when you know your days are numbered? Gemma has asked herself that every night since making her fateful pact with Sophìa, queen of the underworld. Three days after giving birth to her child, Gemma must return to Hell and be transformed into a Witch, erasing her past and surrendering herself to Evil. This is the price she’s agreed to pay in exchange for bringing Evan back to life and ensuring the safety of their child. Evan, however, refuses to accept her agreement. He’s convinced that together, they can overcome this new challenge. His deepest fear is different: he knows the Angels of Death will do everything they can to kill Gemma before she becomes a Witch. Pursued by unrelenting danger and dark secrets, Evan and Gemma ready themselves for the ultimate bloody battle to defend their love.
How far will you go to save the person you love?

My Review:
Initial Thoughts Upon Completion: Oh, wow, the second part of this book was enthralling and it kept me on tenterhooks the whole time! Epic finish to this wonderful saga.

Full Review:

I am still trying to process all my feelings on this book. Without a doubt, for me, this book was the most emotional of all. I felt everything – pain, longing, lust, devastation, anger, love, grief… man, I could go on and on. Great job on wrenching emotion from the reader, Elisa!

So, fair warning – this review is likely to be a little rambling and a little spoilery. I’ve tried my best not to mention anything directly but there are a few parts that might give some stuff away. I don’t like mentioning spoilers in reviews but sometimes (when I feel really emotional after a book like I am now) I find I have to discuss certain things in order to properly convey my thoughts and feelings. Read on at your peril!

The first part of this book was a little slow. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it as it was full of romantic /sexy times and I continue to love Gevan as a couple but the pace did pull me out of the story and I found myself skimming over repetitive interiority and redundant descriptions. Then we enter into the main part of the story and HOLY COW the second half was ON FIRE. I could hardly tear my eyes away from this section of the book as the action and the tension escalated.

Gemma was horrible when she transformed but I actually liked her more. Go figure. She had more backbone and the strength of her convictions. I have always felt she was a bit whiny and all “damsel in distress” and I was sick of Evan having to protect her until Brokenhearted when she redeemed herself by her sacrifice.

I felt Evan’s pain at her loss and I especially loved his chapters – I prefer his voice.

The section in Hell was awesome. I wanted to gouge Devina’s eyes out for her continual attempts to seduce Evan but it added great tension. And then she sidled up to Gemma – so manipulative! A brilliant evil villain!

I have to talk about Ginerva because she was exceptional in Expiation. I didn’t care for her much in Touched but her character development is one of the best in this series and I really loved her spirit, her bravery, and her compassion. Simon was great too.

While the twist with Peter was a good one, it didn’t really go anywhere apart from adding some further ammo for Gemma to torture Evan. I continue to believe all the high school scenes add little to the plot or character development and they could be cut without losing anything.

The battle scenes with the witches were EPIC and I loved them. I also loved how Evan never gave up fighting for her. As if I couldn’t love him any more!! He was relentless and my heart broke for all the heartache he endured.

The world building, creativity, and imagination were fantastic in this book. I love when an author factors in the minor details and Elisa did that there. Oh, I also loved the seductive nature of the witches and the sultry scenes with the soldiers and champions – nice!

(I did mention I would ramble, right?!!)

I was a little disappointed that Gemma didn’t remember Evan. When she did, it was too sudden and it was because of Simon not because of the soul connection she shared with Evan. I am a believer in true love so I would have preferred if this aspect of the plot had gone in a different direction. The other thing I was upset over was Liam. Gemma showed little regard for him in this series and that bugged me as a mother. Evan was marginally better in his behavior, but I would have preferred more focus on his importance. When that twist happened with him, it hit me out of the blue and I sobbed my heart out. So glad that Elisa made it right in the end but I still felt an acute ache in my chest while reading those scenes.

Gemma made the ultimate sacrifice in the end and it was really fitting. The epilogue was great, if a little rushed and not everything has been closed satisfactorily (can’t believe where Simon and Ginerva end up) and I’m all kinds of curious over Liam! I know Elisa is writing a spin-off series and I’m beyond intrigued to discover what and who it’s about – is it Peter? Is it Simon and Ginerva’s story? Is it something to do with Liam? I know I can’t wait to find out!

And another great series comes to an end. It’s been a rollercoaster ride of heightened emotions. Thank you so much, Elisa, for a great conclusion to your Touched Saga! I look forward to reading what you write next.

Review: Brokenhearted (Touched Saga #3) by Elisa S. Amore

Title: Brokenhearted
Author: Elisa S. Amore
Series: Touched Saga #3
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
A journey through dark, forbidden worlds, beyond the limits of fear.
Are you strong enough to tempt Fate?

From the author of the #1 bestseller TOUCHED comes the highly anticipated third episode of the saga that has bewitched thousands of readers around the world.

How can you go on living if the person you love is gone? Consumed by grief and remorse, Gemma Bloom wonders that day after day. Evan defied the laws of Fate to save her, paying dearly for his disobedience: falling into the trap laid by an Angel of Death, he was poisoned by Gemma’s own lips. Since that accursed kiss, she has been inconsolable, tormented by nightmares and hallucinations in which Evan is tortured by invisible hands.
Just when Gemma believes she’s losing her mind, a deep, seductive evil begins to entwine itself around the fragments of her broken heart. Horrified at first, Gemma finds herself gradually drawn to this new emotion. A terrible, mesmerizing power seems to be growing inside her, threatening to take possession of her soul. Tormented by frightening premonitions and dangerous secrets, Gemma will have to summon all her courage if she wants to challenge Fate and resist the power of darkness.
With her elegant style and intense prose, Elisa S. Amore leads us down a path paved with unbreakable bonds and fatal betrayals, forbidden realms and extreme sacrifices. An unforgettable adventure.

Nightmares. Premonitions. Dark Secrets.
Death Has Never Been So Close.
How brave do you have to be to face your worst fears?

My Review:
Stunning worldbuilding and heartbreaking emotion combine to deliver another electrifying read in the amazing Touched Saga.

Fair warning – if you haven’t read the other books in this series this review may be slightly-spoilery.

Elisa sure knows how to tug at her reader’s heartstrings and Brokenhearted is no exception. During the first five or six chapters of this book I actually felt like my heart was splitting in two and I acutely felt everything that Gemma felt. To have lost the one you love by your own hand has got to be one of the worst situations ever. And to top it off Gemma is pregnant with Evan’s baby and she never even got a chance to tell him – my heart was aching for them.

I really missed Evan in this book. I knew he had to come back on the scene at some stage (otherwise there would be no continuation of the series) and I kept racing ahead hoping, hoping, hoping. It reminded me of reading New Moon a little as I kept waiting for Edward to reappear and thought I’d die if he didn’t show up soon. Exact same feelings here. When Evan came back on the scene it was so worth the wait. I just LOVE him. He is perfect – so protective of Gemma and willing to sacrifice everything for her and his baby despite how her stupid mistake landed them in this situation. I could gush buckets all day long about his character – he is perfect leading man material.

I was quite annoyed with Ginerva in this book – it was obvious she was keeping things back from Gemma, though, it’s understandable that she didn’t feel Gemma could handle them because she was a basket case. Still, if I was Gemma I would have been far angrier with Ginerva when everything is revealed.

The second half of this book was incredible. Elisa has detailed a wonderful underworld that is imaginative and creative and Gemma’s journey through Hell had me gripped. It added a new darker and more fantastical element to the series which I adored. I love all the twists and turns and was so pleased that I had guessed her identity in book one. We were introduced to Sophia and the witches and I can’t wait to see how that plot line progresses in the next book. There is certainly plenty to flesh out and I’m intrigued to see where Elisa brings this.

The romance is in limited supply in this book because they are separated so much but when they are together it is swoon-worthy in the extreme. Their passion comes alive in a very real way.

I’m a big fan of Elisa’s writing style even if there is a tendency to be a little over-descriptive at times, but, in the main I really like how she writes.

There are a few reasons this is a four-star rather than five-star review. Firstly, I felt the editing could’ve been tighter in the first half of the book. A lot of Gemma’s inner monologue became very repetitive, and all that stuff in high school and with Peter was largely redundant. I also disliked how dismissive she was of her baby. I understand she is heartbroken but I expected there to come a time when she dried her eyes and faced up to her responsibility and that was only fleeting and more toward the end. The baby was barely mentioned in the first half of the book and that didn’t sit right with me. I also wish Gemma’s character development was stronger. This is the third book yet she still expects everyone to protect and save her. She spent most of this book crying and she really started to get on my nerves. We are told time and time again how she is strong and brave, but, honestly, in my opinion, her actions do not back that up. She was gullible, needy, and whiny and I really wanted her to grow some resolve. Sorry Elisa. However, there is light ahead because in the last few chapters she presented as a strong character and she stood up for Evan and showed her true colors and I was totally cheering at that point. I hope this is the Gemma we get to see in the next book.

I was expecting a cliffhanger ending but this one ends on a fairly happy note even though we know there are tough times ahead.

I look forward to the conclusion of Gemma and Evan’s love story.

Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas

Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Fantasy
Links:

Blurb:
A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

My Review:
Amazing, as I knew it would be. I almost had at coronary at the end and those battle scenes were EPIC. This book makes me want to reread the other two again just to see where it all began and to look at the interactions with Rhysand in a totally different light in book one and two now that I know what I (we!) know! While I devoured this book, and it was fantabulous, I’m so sad this is the end of Feyre and Rhys’s love story as I adore them so much BUT I’m really excited to continue the series with some of the other characters. Really hope Nesta and Cassian’s story is next. Sarah Maas is an unbelievably talented author and I am a massive fan of her work – she is up there with the very best. I’m looking forward to reading her next few releases and I’m already on a countdown.

Blog Tour: Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney


This is my stop during the blog tour for Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 1 till 21 May. View the tour schedule here.

Black DawnBlack Dawn (Black Dawn #1)
By Mallory McCartney
Genre: Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult/ New Adult
Release Date: February 14, 2017

Blurb:
The end of an Empire, the rise of a Queen

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and upon Emory’s arrival she will discover she is the long-lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows.

You can find Black Dawn on Goodreads

You can buy Black Dawn here:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Indigo

Excerpt:
Sweat rolled thickly down his neck, making his getup suffocating. The night was bleak and all-consuming as Brokk Foster looked to where he knew his best friend and Commander was hidden. Weeks of tactical planning and training had brought the soldiers of Black Dawn to this moment. The slight tremor in his hands was the only sign of how he was feeling. Brokk pressed himself closer to the mossy ground, breathing in the sweet smell of dewy grass. A snap of twigs and the group went rigid, frozen in the shadows. Laughter filled the forest air as four men with blood-red sashes of the guards draped brazenly across their chests walked into view a few hundred yards away. They quipped at each other, totally relaxed, their voices sounding like a constant buzz to Brokk. His blood thrummed in his ears as his heart pounded wildly. The seconds felt like centuries until finally, he saw a flash of silver and a smooth voice filled his mind, “Now.”
Brokk didn’t need to be told twice. Springing from the ground like a demon from the darkness, he pulled his curved twin blades out in seconds as he cut the men off. The group stopped, looking pale in the moonlight and extremely exposed.
“Evening, boys,” Brokk said in a taunting voice. “Sorry to interrupt your rounds, but I dare say you’re a little close for comfort to our home. Convenient for us, though,” he added, twirling the hilts in his hands. “We wanted you exactly here.”
Their leader took a daring step toward him. His mistake. Brokk yelled into the darkness, “Memphis, keep him alive!”
In a flurry of movement, his friends dropped from the surrounding trees, all dressed in the same camouflage, their weapons at the ready. A mad cackle broke the guard’s momentary trance, and they tried to run. Chaos ensued.
Brokk threw his blades at the nearest tree—a satisfying thud sounded as they found their mark. He ran, eyes fixated on the two guards that had broken away from the fight ahead of him. It was laughable really, just how much they thought they had a chance of escaping. They had no idea who they were up against.
The familiar popping and breaking of bones shivered through his body when animal instinct took over as the wolf inside him did. The ground shook from his colossal paws, golden fur rippling like a beacon in the night. His growl rumbled like thunder, and for a split second, he forgot who he was. All that mattered was that he took his targets down. The guard’s deaths were much swifter than they deserved.
Brokk shifted back, trying to calm the elation of how good that had felt. Memphis snapped him out of his glorified moment. “Brokk! Come here.”
The last guard was openly crying, now forced to his knees, hands shaking behind his head. Brokk almost felt sorry for him. Almost.
Up close he was much younger than Brokk thought, fear replacing the guard’s bravery now. Memphis’s icy blue eyes cut into his, and he didn’t have to say anything for Brokk to understand. Telekinetic or not, his friend wore his heart on his sleeve. They were all on edge and who could blame them? Six years of hiding. Six years of losing this war. Brokk swallowed back his thoughts, wearing his mask of oozing confidence and anger.
“W-who are you?” The guard’s voice squeaked out several octaves higher than it should have.
Nyx kicked him in the gut, making him wheeze in pain and gasp for air. Memphis crouched down in front of him, his long blond hair tied back, revealing his severe features. They all bore scars, some more visible than others.

About the Author:
Mallory McCartney currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and their two dachshunds Link and Lola. Black Dawn is her debut novel, the first in a series. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found dog grooming, book shopping and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

You can find and contact Mallory McCartney here:
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Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Black Dawn. Three winners will each win a signed copy of Black Dawn. Open International.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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Cover Reveal: Tide by Deirdre Riordan Hall

Today is the cover reveal for Tide by Deirdre Riordan Hall. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The cover is designed by Nova Book Covers

Tide (The Sea & Sand series #1)
By Deirdre Riordan Hall
Genre: Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: May 16, 2017

Blurb:
Never trust a mermaid’s kiss.

Tyler McColdrum has a bright future on the professional surfing circuit until his father tragically dies at sea. Unable to pay the bills, Tyler and his mother leave California and move to his late grandfather’s cottage in Land’s End, Maine—a world away from the life he’s known. Not even the stormy Atlantic can douse Tyler’s surf stoke, but when mariners go missing off the coast, legends as old as the sea itself suggest something lurks beneath the surface. As the police investigate, his friend Kiwa—the only female surfer for miles—indicates there’s more to the McColdrum family history than blood and bone.

Amara is a beautiful mermaid, a mero, who wants a life on land away from her sinister sisters. As charming as mero are, with musical voices and a tempting gaze, they’re also brutal and cruel, stealing the souls of sailors. As Initiation nears, Amara learns Poseidon selected her as consort and her desperation for freedom increases. When Tyler encounters Amara, he falls hard for her. The ocean is no longer safe for him, but he trusts their love can overcome her mero nature. As locals and officials wage war against the sea, trying to keep mariners safe, Tyler and Amara struggle with how to protect each other.

With one foot in the sand and the other in the sea, Tyler must choose love or the surf as the tide quickly rises.

You can find Tide on Goodreads

You can pre-order Tide on Amazon

Share the love!
Please share the Tide love with your Twitter, Facebook, & social media friends:

Copy and paste to Tweet:
Never trust a mermaid’s kiss. Tide #youngadult #fantasy available 5/16 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34796931-tide

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When sailors go missing off the coast of the Atlantic, Tyler learns alluring and beautiful doesn’t mean harmless, leaving it up to him to stop the mero or lose more souls to the sea. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y1JZFD9/

About the Author:
Deirdre Riordan Hall is the author of the young adult bestsellers, Sugar and Pearl along with women’s fiction. When she’s not writing, she’s probably surfing or in pursuit of magic. She also has a healthy case of wanderlust, loves chips and salsa, and dreams about learning no less than three languages. Join her monthly newsie.

You can find and contact Deirdre Riordan Hall here:
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Giveaway
There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of Tide. One winner will win a copy of Tide by Deirdre Riordan Hall. This giveaway is open international as long as the Bookdepository ships to your country.

For a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
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Myths & Legends Week 4

Myths & Legends banner
Today is my stop during the book blitz for the Myths & Legends Boxed Set. This is the fourth post during this tour. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.

I’m introducing a few of the participating authors and showcasing some of their books/back catalogue as well as including details of a special pre-order giveaway where you can get 17 free books when you pre-order this box set.

Myths & Legends is a compilation of 20 Full-Length Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy reads currently available to pre-order for only 99c, including works from New York Times, USA Today, Bestselling, and various Award-Winning authors! Details of how you can pre-order this special box set are included at the bottom of this post. First off, let’s meet some of these amazing authors!

Meet Lisa Manifold
Lisa Manifold

I didn’t plan on being a writer. It just happened.
So now that’s my career – author. I love it. It is the best job in the world. Since my seamstress skills are not enough to get me a job as a professional costume designer, I keep that as my hobby. (if you’ve met me at a con where I’m not working – you’ve seen my hobby in action.)
When not writing, I am enjoying Colorado with my amazing husband and two darling boys. We share our lives with two attentive dogs and an offended cat.
You can learn more about Lisa Manifold on her website.

Check out her book Heart of the Goblin King!
Heart of the Goblin King

Brennan, the King of the Goblin Realm finds himself facing his greatest challenge he’s faced since he came to the throne. A rogue sorcerer is raising an army of Brennan’s own subjects against him threatening the peace Brennan has worked so hard to create for his people. Thankfully, he’s engaged to an eminently suitable lady, because who has time for love? Not with his kingdom on the brink of chaos.

Meet Corinne O’Flynn
Corinne O’Flynn

I am a native New Yorker living in Colorado, and wouldn’t trade life in the Rockies for anything. I love writing fantasy and mystery, and experimenting with short fiction. I am a self-proclaimed scone aficionado, a professional napper, and I have an entire section of my kitchen devoted to tea. When I’m not writing, I can be found hanging with my husband and our kids, playing board games, knitting, reading, or binge watching some fabulous shows (while sipping tea).
You can learn more about Corinne O’Flynn on her website.

Check out her book Ghosts of Witches Past!
Ghosts of Witches Past

A mother’s love.
A dying wish.
Secrets from the grave.
The past never forgets…

Seventeen-year-old Wavy McClintock is a witch with the rare ability to see ghosts. Traumatic events with “city ghosts” when she was a child have forced Wavy into a life of seclusion. She never leaves the safety of Tower Hill, where the local ghosts are easy to spot and avoid.

Meet Andrea Pearson
Andrea Pearson

Andrea, a Brigham Young University graduate, is an avid reader and outdoor enthusiast. She loves hiking, boating, biking, spending time in the Rocky Mountains, and taking walks. Andrea plays several instruments, not including the banjo, and loves putting together musical arrangements. Her favorite sports are basketball and football, though several knee surgeries and incurably awful coordination prevent her from playing them.
You can learn more about Andrea Pearson on her website.

Check out her book Discern!
Discern

He’s dark and powerful, a magical anomaly. She’s inexperienced and untrained. Can they set aside their differences in time to save themselves?

Mysterious disappearances at a popular national park force authorities to organize a university-led expedition, and they’ve invited undergrads to compete to be included.

Meet Emily Martha Sorensen
Emily Martha Sorensen

I’m a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy, and I write clean books that are intelligent, optimistic, and happy.
I’m a bit of an oddball. I refuse to write what’s popular: I write the stories I believe should exist. If those happen to become popular, I would be delighted. I won’t change what I write just because the crowd’s doing it. I’m pretty flexible about which forms my stories take, though.
You can learn more about Emily Martha Sorensen on her website.

Check out her book Black Magic Academy!
Black Magic Academy

Mildred doesn’t like black magic. But her mother was once valedictorian of Black Magic Academy, so her aunts insist she needs to follow in her footsteps and become one too.

Mildred doesn’t want to be part of the popular crowd. Nor does she care about her “death-enemy.” And she certainly has no interest in murderous spells. But if the teachers catch on that she’s actually a good witch . . . well, they don’t react well to that kind of ignominy.

What’s the only good witch in a school of wicked witches to do?

Pre-order Myths & Legends for 0.99$!
Myths & Legends
The MYTHS & LEGENDS Boxed Set is a compilation of 20 Full-Length Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy reads, including works from USA Today bestsellers, Bestselling Harlequin authors, and various Award-Winning authors!

You can pre-order Myths & Legends for only 0.99$ here:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
iBooks

Pre-Order Myths and Legends for $0.99 and get 17 free eBooks!
Myths & Legends pre-order Giveaway
Here’s your chance to get almost 40 books for the price of only $0.99 while the Myths & Legends set is available for pre-order! Here’s how it works:
1. Pre-Order the Myths and Legends box set
2. Send an email to mythsandlegendspreorder@gmail.com with your proof of purchase.
3. Check your email, your 17 FREE books will be delivered there!

Giveaway
During the book blitz for Myths & Legends there’s a tour wide giveaway! These are the prizes you can win:
– 5 Myths & Legends Boxsets
– 3 $10 Amazon Gift Cards
– Various signed paperbacks by the participating authors

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Review: The Struggle (Titan #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: The Struggle
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Titan #3
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Fantasy/ Mythology
Links:

Blurb:
A bloody path has been chosen…

The war against the Titans continues, and they remain determined to wreak havoc on the world, but Seth has become something all gods fear. Now the most dangerous, most absolute power no longer resides in those who have been freed from their tombs.

The Great War fought by the few is coming…

All may doubt and fear what Seth has become. All except the one woman who might be his final chance at redemption. Josie will do anything to prove that Seth is on their side, but fate has a nasty way of changing lives, of changing people.

In the end, the sun will fall…

The only way they can save the future and save themselves is by facing the unknown together. It will take more than trust and faith. It will take love and the kind of strength not easily broken. No matter what, their lives will never be the same.

For what the gods have feared has come to pass. The end of the old is here and the beginning of the new has been ushered in…

My Review:
Initial Thoughts: EPIC. Loved every single part of this book. Can’t believe I read it so fast when I had every intention of savoring it slowly but it was unputdownable. I will never get enough of the Covenant world. Never.

Full Review:

Fair warning – the fangirl in me is out in force right now and this review is going to be cheesy and gushing in the extreme. I’m making no apologies – just letting you know in advance.

Waiting for this book felt like an eternity for me. The Covenant series is my all-time fav series, ever, EVER and I was so excited when Jennifer announced this new spin-off series and it is everything I was hoping it would be and more. I wanted Seth to get his HEA and I was really hoping we would see more of my fav couple, Alex and Aiden, and the other characters I have come to love, and Jen has delivered in spades. My respect and admiration for her are at an all-time high because every book in this series is even better than the last and I am salivating at the prospect of the next book already.

The Power ended explosively and I thought I’d die if I didn’t get my hands on this book. Finally, the wait was over and I had every intention of reading this one nice and slow to really appreciate the magnificence. But that is virtually impossible when it comes to this world and these characters (and this author.)

There is not one single thing I would fault about this book, and I’d give it a million stars if I could. I loved it. I loved Seth. I loved Josie. I loved Aiden (especially Aiden. Yum. Yum.) I loved Alex (she’s still such a bad ass) and Marcus, Deacon, Luke, Colin etc – I could go on. Told you I’d gush buckets.

The blend of action/adventure and romance was perfect in this one. The snarky, witty banter is there, the sexy times are there, the edge-of-the-seat suspense is there. What I really loved was the character development, especially Seth’s progression. And I enjoyed the fact that Aiden and Seth are starting to see eye-to-eye, yes they say they still hate each other but they don’t really.

Josie has grown on me since book one and I loved her faith and her loyalty to Seth in this one. I kinda guessed the two big things going on with her but they were still awesome reveals. Seth goes off to do something at the 96% mark and I swear I was legit afraid to read. My heart was in my mouth and I was turning the pages of my Kindle shielding my eyes. Really loved the end, even if the ending wasn’t quite as “bam-in your face” as The Power. Doesn’t matter – I’m still suffering from the worst book hangover and I’m already on a countdown to the next book.

The writing is superb (as usual) and the pacing is consistent and it was virtually impossible to tear myself away from this masterpiece.

The Struggle = Book Heaven for me, and I am on the verge of tears now because it’s over already and I want to slap upself up the head for devouring it so quickly. I have a ton of other books to read for reviews and I can’t do it. I just can’t let go of this one yet. Think I’ll have to re-read it instantly.

Thank you so much, Jennifer, for writing such an amazing spin-off series. Please let it go on and on. I for one will never tire of reading about these characters. I love them all.

ARC generously provided by the author. I have voluntarily reviewed same and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Book Blitz: Myths & Legends Week 1

Myths & Legends banner
Today is my stop during the book blitz for the Myths & Legends Boxed Set. This is the first post during this tour. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.

I’m introducing a few of the participating authors and showcasing some of their books/back catalogue as well as including details of an awesome Facebook party where you can win tons of cool bookish stuff!

Myths & Legends is a compilation of 20 Full-Length Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy reads currently available to pre-order for only 99c, including works from New York Times, USA Today, Bestselling, and various Award-Winning authors! Details of how you can pre-order this special box set are included at the bottom of this post. First off, let’s meet some of these amazing authors!

Meet Margo Bond Collins

Margo Bond Collins
NYT bestselling author Margo Bond Collins is a former college English professor who, tired of explaining the difference between “hanged” and “hung,” turned to writing romance novels instead. (Sometimes her heroines kill monsters, too.)
You can learn more about Margo Bond Collins on her website.

Meet N.R. Larry

Natasha Larry is a mother and DC comics fan girl. She writes multicultural paranormal fantasy for teens and adults. She is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Her published works include The Night and Darwin’s Children.

She lives somewhere in Alabama.
You can learn more about N.R Larry on her website.

Check out the book Immortal Winter by Margo Bond Collin and N.R. Larry!

Immortal Winter
A princess locked away in an ice tower.
A handsome kidnapper who insists her savior-queen is a liar.
And a chance to break the curse that’s bound them all.

Meet Joanne Wadsworth

Joanne Wadsworth
Joanne Wadsworth is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling Author who adores getting lost in the world of romance, no matter what era in time that might be. Hot alpha Highlanders hound her, demanding their stories are told and she’s devoted to ensuring they meet their match, whether that be with a feisty lass from the present or far in the past.
You can learn more about Joanne Wadworth on her website.

Check out her book Protector!

Protector
To love and protect…across worlds.

Eighteen-year-old Faith Stryker is prepared to leap out into the unknown world beyond her home shores of New Zealand to experience life. Davio discovers Faith isn’t just a Halfling, she’s also his soul-bound mate–an intense relationship he cannot, nor will not, give up.

With two wars now waging…one of land and the other of the heart…can the young couple find their place in the world?

Meet J.H. Croix

J.H. Croix
Bestselling author J. H. Croix lives in a small town in the historical farmlands of Maine with her husband and two spoiled dogs. Croix writes sexy contemporary romance and steamy paranormal shifter romance with strong independent women and rugged alpha men who aren’t afraid to show some emotion. Her love for quirky small-towns and the characters that inhabit them shines through in her writing. Take a walk on the wild side of romance with her bestselling novels!
You can learn more about J.H. Croix on her website.

Check out her book Protected Mate!

Protected Mate
Dane Ashworth, a sexy, solitary mountain lion shifter, comes from one of the founding shifter families of Catamount, a town deep in the woods of Maine where mountain lion shifters have existed in secret for centuries. The community is in turmoil after the startling death of a shifter. In the midst of upheaval in Catamount, Dane encounters the unassuming, curvy and deliciously sexy Chloe Silver.

Pre-order Myths & Legends for 0.99$!
Myths & Legends
The MYTHS & LEGENDS Boxed Set is a compilation of 20 Full-Length Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy reads, including works from USA Today bestsellers, Bestselling Harlequin authors, and various Award-Winning authors!

You can pre-order Myths & Legends for only 0.99$ here:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
iBooks

Myths & Legends facebook party
Join the Myths & Legends Facebook Party and have a chance to win tons of cool stuff and meet some fab new authors! Join the Facebook party here.

Giveaway
During the book blitz for Myths & Legends there’s a tour wide giveaway! These are the prizes you can win:
– 5 Myths & Legends Boxsets
– 3 $10 Amazon Gift Cards
– Various signed paperbacks by the participating authors

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Review: Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas

empire-of-stormsTitle: Empire of Storms
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #5
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Young Adult Fantasy
Links:

Blurb:
The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

My Review:
Initial Thoughts: Gods-damned brilliant. Superb storytelling. So clever. Loved every page. Sarah J. Maas, you are a genius.

Full Review:

Another EPIC read from an author and a series that continues to go from strength to strength. Put simply – this was perfection on a page. I loved every second of it, and I adore how Sarah writes long, intricate books because it represents such great value for money. It took me a full week to read this because a) it’s long and b) I had minimal reading time, but I enjoyed savoring it slowly. Reading Empire of Storms makes me want to read the entire series again because the characters have all evolved and matured so much.

I loved all the different POVs we got in this book, and all the couples we had to root for! I was in book heaven! If you follow my reviews, you will know that I love a blend of action with romance and this book ticked all the right boxes. Aelin and Rowan are perfect, and I also really loved the slow-building romance between Aedion and Lysandra. I’m not sold on Lorcan and he has a lot to do to prove things to me and Elide.

Aelin was very secretive in this book but it was for a good reason. She is the ultimate smart, fiesty badass female heroine and I loved her in Empire of Storms. She is still the same person underneath but you can see how much she has developed over the course of the series. The romance between her and Rowan is so heartfelt and reminiscent of the soulmates that they are. They don’t always work as a united team (she still keeps so much from him) but there will be no one else for either of them. Dorian grated on my nerves a little in this book, even though I still love him, but he needs to start stepping up to the plate. Too much responsibility is left up to Aelin. I had a feeling where the plot was going, and I was hoping I was wrong, but I wasn’t. My heart bleeds for Aelin and I’m not sure how Sarah is going to rectify it in the next book, but I have complete faith in her.

Plot development was sublime in this book. She pulls a lot of threads together in an expertly skilled fashion. To write in so many differing points of view in order to tell the story, and to involve so much incredible worldbuilding and imaginative storytelling, is the skill of a truly talented author. Sarah is the bomb. I cannot get enough of her work, and I hope she has plenty more series in her head as I will never tire of reading her books. Both her current series are superb.

The end few chapters were explosive and I swear I stopped breathing at one point. I want to kill Maeve. I don’t know how the hell I’m expected to survive another year to find out what happens next. It’s been over a week since I finished this book, and I’ve read about five others in between (I was on vacation) but I still feel gutted over how this book ended and heartbroken for Aelin and Rowan and so worried about all my favorite characters. Please hurry up and write the next one – I for one will be reading it the minute it releases.

Gush fest over. Do yourself a favor and pick up this series, if you haven’t already. I promise you won’t be sorry.

Review: The Guardian, a Sword, & Stilettos (Enlighten #1) by Kristin D. Van Risseghem

the guardian, a sword & silettosTitle: The Guardian, a Sword, & Stilettos
Author: Kristin D. Van Risseghem
Series: Enlighten #1
Rating: 3 stars
Genres: Young Adult Fantasy
Links:

Blurb:
Zoe Jabril could be just another 17-year-old girl attending parties with her friends and checking out cute guys—except her best friend is a Guardian Angel, and the boy she crushes on is a Nephilim, half-angel, both sent to Earth to protect her. A high school classmate happens to be a trendsetting shopaholic fairy. And now there’s a new werewolf in town.

Zoe has to deal with her feelings toward Shay, who spreads a strange electrical current through her body every time he touches her. Now Zoe is under constant attack from demons, trying to kill and stop her from fulfilling the Prophecy: a girl will be born who will unite the Enlightens to battle evil. Then on top of that, between boring homework and drama with girls at school, she has to control new found talents if she’s to prevent the devil from escaping Hell.

In order to do so, Zoe must devise a kick-ass plan ASAP or watch everyone die, because she’s running out of time. She turns eighteen in two months—the date Armageddon kicks off.

My Review:
I have mixed views on this book, and while I did enjoy reading it, I can’t say that it blew me away. I’m still undecided on whether to continue the series.

This book started off really well, with an exciting chase and subsequent fighting scene, and we were quickly introduced to the main themes. I love stories about angels and demons and I was really into the story at the beginning. Zoe finds out that she is the Redeemer and the subject of a prophecy which is due to kick off when she turns 18, in about two months time. Oh, and the world is going to go to hell in a handbasket when demons have free reign over the Earth. It’s up to her to save everyone. Yay! I thought, brill, right up my alley. I hunkered down to read- all great so far.

However, it quickly fell apart when the focus became all about the romance. (And believe me when I say it is so weird for me to say that because I love my romance.) There was a significant lack of action, which was disappointing and not what I expected. I kept waiting for something pivotal to happen and when stuff did happen it felt quite anti-climactic.

I enjoyed the author’s writing style, and she has a natural way with words. The pacing was fairly consistent. The world building was fab, and while not always original, I think Kristin managed to create her own ideas and put her own stamp on things, and I did enjoy the fantasy aspect of the story.

The biggest issue I had was with characterization and emotional depth. I felt the characters needed more fleshing out, and scenes that should have packed an emotional punch fell way short of the mark. To be fair, this is a debut novel, and it is something that I’m sure will improve in later books.

Some of the dialogue was stiff and unnatural and some of the scenes were downright cringeworthy. I hated that Shay was into One Direction and The Wanted (even though I personally like both bands) as it seemed completely out of character. Even if he had been an ordinary teenager (and not an 80-year-old neph) it would have seemed weird. I don’t know many teenage boys who would openly admit to such musical taste in front of the girl they are crushing on, let alone rely on them to woo her in part.

Zoe was a typical MC and though she irritated me with her lack of regard for the situation, and her shallow focus on boys and dresses, I can forgive that because she’s a teenager in love for the first time. I didn’t love her or hate her; I suppose I tolerated her.

Some of the side characters were much better developed and I liked Sidelle and Finn, in particular. And the boys – I loved Kieran and Shay, despite some minor irritations over character inconsistency. But they were both totally swoon-worthy and really decent leading men.

Reading back over this review, it may seem that I didn’t like the book, which would be unfair to say. In summary, I did enjoy reading this book, and there were certain aspects that were very good, however, there were some issues that detracted from my overall enjoyment. With that ending, I am still curious to see where the story is heading, so maybe I will check out the sequel. I anticipate that a lot of the issues I had with this one would be non-issues in the next book.

I think if you enjoy your fantasy reads with a strong focus on romance and a high-school kinda vibe then you will love this one. It should also appeal to fans of Fallen, Hush Hush etc.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.