The Unmarked Witch (Unmarked, #1) – Miranda Lyn [ARC Review]

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis:

ALL RAVEN WANTS IS PEACE. BUT IN A MAGICAL REALM PLAGUED BY DECEPTION, THE ONLY THING HER WORLD KNOWS IS TURMOIL.

A land where witches wear their spells like tattoos is no place for a woman without a single magical mark—except for Raven, whose unblemished skin contradicts the truth of her power. Surviving under the scowls of her fellow witches has carved indelible scars into her mind over the years—just as the day she watched the Dark King’s men murder her grandmother in cold blood.

But the Dark King’s reign of terror is far-reaching, and Raven’s grandmother won’t be the last witch to die under his rule. After the death of a coven leader heralds the start of the infamous Witch Trials, Raven finds herself dodging death to triumph. The journey quickly descends into perils far greater than she’d ever imagined, including a war on her heart from a man she’d only ever known as a villain.

Still, trust is always fragile in kingdoms ruled by magic, especially when love enters the fold. Yet, something else is awry in the land of spells and shadows and Raven must decide whether she trusts her gut or her heart.

The Unmarked Witch is the first gripping book in the seductive and intriguing duology, Unmarked.

Review:

Huge thank you to Miranda Lyn for sharing this e-arc with me. The following review reflects my honest reading experience. 

I am honored to be a part of Miranda’s street team for The Unmarked Witch! It has been so much fun to be a part of this incredible group of book witches!! FOREST COVEN FOREVER! 

The Unmarked Witch follows Raven Moonstone, a witch competing to become the leader of her coven. This story had everything . . . strong women, friendship, romance, magic, and lots of action. Plus all the twists and a cliffhanger ending!! I loved this book!!

The magic system in The Unmarked Witch was so cool and unique! I found it totally fascinating! In this world, the witches wear their magic on their skin as markings. Each marking represents a different spell. There is no limit to the types of magic too! For example, there’s spells for unlocking doors, slicing, familiars, fire, and so much more. Raven is different though because she has spells, but no markings. This makes her a bit of an outcast, but she owns it and is so fierce!

The Trials were my favorite part of The Unmarked Witch. I had no idea what to expect from the tasks and I was blown away. They were so intense and exciting! Each Trial tested the witches in a different way. This was such a great way to explore the world, different covens, and magic system. I loved traveling to each of the covens!! Shout out to Forest Coven because WOW. As soon as I read the description of Forest Coven I fell in love. I think it was meant to be that Miranda placed me in Forest Coven for the street team. Forest Coven sounded perfect for me!  

Another thing I really loved was the relationships between characters in The Unmarked Witch. Especially Raven and Kirsi’s friendship. The bond these two have was so beautiful and I loved how they support each other through it all. Both women are strong, fierce, independent, and so loving towards one another. Raven and Kirsi are friendship goals!! I also could not get enough of Raven’s relationships with the Dark King and Grey. There was so much banter!!! I loved it!! Plus the romance was totally swoon-worthy. It’s definitely a slow burn/enemies to lovers situation which is my favorite! I’m also a sucker for the whole discovering your archenemy isn’t what they seem. Miranda writes these tropes so well!

I could not get enough of The Unmarked Witch! This book was fast paced and kept me engaged throughout the whole thing! It was such a page turner and I couldn’t put it down! The ending was full of twists and has a pretty major cliffhanger. I need book two in my life asap. It’s going to be a long wait!

If you like fantasy, witchy vibes, unique magic systems, and well crafted characters, then I highly recommend you check out The Unmarked Witch.

The Unmarked Witch is set to be released September 20th, 2022. 

Does this sound like a book your interested in? Head over to my Instagram and check out my bio and highlights (forest coven + unmarked witch) for links to preorder and all the details about joining your own coven!

The Phoenix Priest (The Blood & Water Saga, #2) – Cassidy Clarke [ARC Review]

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis:

Elias Loch has nothing left to believe in.

After the loss of his battlemate, all he wants is to go home to Nyx and lose himself to grief. But when the Goddess of Death summons him to Artem, a kingdom of fire and steel, he finds himself plunged into a series of trials to earn him and his princely companion an audience with Artem’s Empress—trials that will force him to confront what it truly means to have faith in his goddess…and himself.

Finnick Atlas is playing a game against the gods, and he’s used up all his cheats.

Burdened by his new title and the two gods walking his halls, he needs to be at the top of his game to keep control over his kingdom. But with a maddening magic threatening to steal what’s left of his sanity, a goddess puppeting his little sister’s body for nefarious ends, and an arranged marriage with the Queen of Lapis looming on the horizon, he’s running out of sleeves to slip aces into. Luckily, a new friend from the Lapisian delegation may just be the key to winning all his games…if he can trick a worshipper of the Trickster Goddess.

Soren Nyx can’t seem to die.

Trapped inside her own body, she has only one goal left: to keep Anima, Goddess of Life, from seeing into her memories and finding her family’s weaknesses. But retreating into the depths of her own mind has unintended consequences, and with the help of an old friend, Soren must navigate the lost memories of her childhood as Soleil, all with one question in mind: will she finally give in to the death that’s been chasing her since girlhood, or will she rise again as someone new?

Review:

This review will contain minor spoilers from The Saltwater Heir.

Huge thank you to Cassidy Clarke and the team at Sapphire Ink Press for sharing this e-arc with me! The following review reflects my honest reading experience.

I cannot express to you how excited I was to receive an advanced copy of The Phoenix Priest! The Saltwater Heir was one of my top reads from last year. It’s also an all-time favorite read. The Saltwater Heir ended with so many twists and such a major cliffhanger that I could not wait to get my hands on the sequel. I’m so happy to say that The Phoenix Priest was an excellent follow-up! Cassidy Clarke has done it again!

The Phoenix Priest picks up right where The Saltwater Heir left off. Elias and Kallias are off to Nyx, Finn remains in the palace, and Soren is currently sharing her body with the goddess Anima. The story is told through these multiple points of view and it is so well done. Each POV really added depth, growth, and perspective to the story and the characters. For example, I really wanted to just blindly hate Anima. However, the author did an excellent job of using her chapters to paint a bigger picture and actually make me feel for her. She’s still not my favorite character, but I definitely understand her more. And speaking of Anima . . . there is much more interaction with the gods in The Phoenix Priest! It was so cool to learn more about them and their powers. I can’t wait to find out even more as the series goes on!

My favorite part of this series is the relationships between the characters. This is done a bit differently this time because the Atlas siblings are scattered throughout the world. I did not really care too much for Kallias in the first book, but man did The Phoenix Priest change my opinion of him. I totally love Kallias, and his friendship with Elias was one of my favorite parts of this book. I loved watching their friendship grow! These two men go on quite the journey, both physical and mental, together. Elias especially is dealing with his unimaginable grief and a deep depression. I thought that the author did a great job of writing Elias and his despair. Mental health can easily be used as just a plot point or an attention grabber, but Cassidy Clarke incorporated it into the story beautifully.

Finn stole my heart in The Saltwater Heir and he still hasn’t let it go! My sarcastic, fun-loving prince is a bit broken in this book. He is processing his grief and trauma all while dealing with the pressures of being a royal plus insane gods and goddesses. Finn still has his wit and cleverness, but he is much more vulnerable and fragile this time around. This book added more depth to all the characters, but especially Finn. I feel like we are just starting to peel away some of his masks. I just wanted to jump into the pages and give him the biggest hug! And he really needs a hug because his journey in The Phoenix Priest is a rollercoaster.

If you read my review of The Saltwater Heir you know that I love this world that Clarke has crafted. This gorgeous and creative world expands in The Phoenix Priest and we get to discover and learn about so many new places! I found the mountain city in Artem so fascinating, and I was in awe of the Mirrors from Lapis! It looks like we are going to explore even more of this awesome world in the next book and I am so excited!

Now, I bet you’re wondering why I did not give The Phoenix Priest five stars. I absolutely loved it, but the first third-halfish of this book was slow. It took me a bit to really get into the story. However, once it got going I was totally hooked.

The Phoenix Priest ends with another great cliffhanger. It’s not nearly as shocking as The Saltwater Heir, but it is super impactful. This ending really sets up the next story. Our characters are once again scattered and they all have quite the journey ahead. I cannot wait to find out what happens next in book three!

The Phoenix Priest was released April 22nd, 2022.

PS: This awesome series is available on Kindle Unlimited!

All My Rage – Sabaa Tahir

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sabaa Tahir comes a brilliant, unforgettable, and heart-wrenching contemporary YA novel about family and forgiveness, love and loss, in a sweeping story that crosses generations and continents.

Lahore, Pakistan. Then.
Misbah is a dreamer and storyteller, newly married to Toufiq in an arranged match. After their young life is shaken by tragedy, they come to the United States and open the Clouds’ Rest Inn Motel, hoping for a new start.

Juniper, California. Now.
Salahudin and Noor are more than best friends; they are family. Growing up as outcasts in the small desert town of Juniper, California, they understand each other the way no one else does. Until The Fight, which destroys their bond with the swift fury of a star exploding.

Now, Sal scrambles to run the family motel as his mother Misbah’s health fails and his grieving father loses himself to alcoholism. Noor, meanwhile, walks a harrowing tightrope: working at her wrathful uncle’s liquor store while hiding the fact that she’s applying to college so she can escape him—and Juniper—forever.

When Sal’s attempts to save the motel spiral out of control, he and Noor must ask themselves what friendship is worth—and what it takes to defeat the monsters in their pasts and the ones in their midst.

From one of today’s most cherished and bestselling young adult authors comes a breathtaking novel of young love, old regrets, and forgiveness—one that’s both tragic and poignant in its tender ferocity.

Review:

Thank you to Penguin Teen Influencers & Sabaa Tahir for sharing this e-arc of All My Rage with me. The following review reflects my honest reading experience.

This book was incredible. I am so thankful that Sabaa Tahir wrote this book and shared her story. All My Rage was beautiful, devastating, inspiring, and heartbreaking. It contains themes of love, grief, forgiveness, regret, healing, and (of course) rage.

I was completely captivated by Noor, Salahudin, and Misbah. I was beside them through each of their incredibly harrowing journeys. I felt so deeply for these characters. These three, especially Noor & Salahudin, are now a part of my heart. They will be with me forever.

Sabaa Tahir has once again absolutely blown me away. I already knew that her writing and storytelling were stunning. But she really outdid herself with All My Rage. She navigates sensitive issues and storylines with grace, empathy, and compassion. All My Rage tore my heart into a million pieces. And then it put it back together. This one will stick with me for a long time.

All My Rage will be released March 1st.

*Please make sure to read the content/trigger warnings provided. All My Rage addresses many serious, potentially triggering subjects including: drug and alcohol addiction, physical abuse, Islamophobia, mentions of repressed sexual assault, tense exchange with law enforcement, and death.

Oathbound (The Royal Rose Chronicles, #1) – Victoria McCombs [ARC Review]

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis:

Beware the waters. The dangerous deep brings ruin to all.

Emme has spent her life avoiding anything to do with pirates. But the fates are cruel, and now a hidden sickness leads her to partner with pirates for the one thing that can save her—a cure on an island none are certain exists.

The pirate captain’s secrets are darker than the deep and threaten to kill them all. His obligations are tinged with betrayal, for his oathbind must be fulfilled. To ignore it is to invite peril of unimaginable destruction.

As the adventure unfolds, the sea takes more than she expects and the sea gives more than he wants.

Review:

HUGE thank you to Victoria McCombs and Book of Matches Media for sharing this e-ARC with me. The following review reflects my honest reading experience.

I am a massive fan of pirate adventure stories so I knew I had to get my hands Oathbound. This book was seriously so good!

Oathbound has everything! There’s pirates, sea monsters, mermaids, mysterious ships, rival crews, ghosts, treasure, romance, and major suspense plus some seriously high stakes. This with a super mysterious and eerie story had me totally hooked! I was on the edge of my seat! McCombs did such a great job with the world building and creating such a eerie and mysterious atmosphere. This was one of my favorite parts of Oathbound. I loved how spooky and creepy parts were. Especially the black ship slowly stalking the Royal Rose. It was so creepy to imagine the ship getting closer and closer. I could totally see the scene in my mind! I also loved watching Emme grow more comfortable on the ship and start to love the sea. It’s actually funny how much I enjoy these types of stories and scenes because in real life I am petrified of the ocean. It’s so fun to read these scenes like these in Oathbound because I get to live vicariously through the characters and experience the ocean without actually having to go.

The ending of Oathbound was so intense and SO. GOOD. I thought I knew what was going to happen, but I was so surprised. There were so many great twists. And that cliffhanger?!?! I need book two!!

Here are some other miscellaneous things that I really loved and have to mention. . .

  • The tattoos!!
  • All the different supernatural-esc monsters and creatures the crew encountered.
  • The relationships between the characters. Especially Emme + Emeric, Emme + Arn, and Arn + his crew members.

As you can tell, I highly recommend Oathbound. I loved this story and all the twists. I cannot wait for the sequel!

Oathbound is set to release February 15th, 2022.

I Must Betray You – Ruta Sepetys [ARC Review]

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys: 9781984836038 | PenguinRandomHouse.com:  Books

Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

Synopsis:

Romania, 1989. Communist regimes are crumbling across Europe. Seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu dreams of becoming a writer, but Romanians aren’t free to dream; they are bound by rules and force.

Amidst the tyrannical dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu in a country governed by isolation and fear, Cristian is blackmailed by the secret police to become an informer. He’s left with only two choices: betray everyone and everything he loves—or use his position to creatively undermine the most notoriously evil dictator in Eastern Europe.

Cristian risks everything to unmask the truth behind the regime, give voice to fellow Romanians, and expose to the world what is happening in his country. He eagerly joins the revolution to fight for change when the time arrives. But what is the cost of freedom?

Review:

Huge thank you to Ruta Sepetys, Penguin Teen Influencers, Philomel Books and Penguin Young Readers for sharing this e-arc with me. The following review reflects my honest reading experience. 

I am a massive fan of Ruta Sepetys’s books. Each of her stories have made such an impact on me and continue to be favorites of mine. My favorite thing about Ruta’s books is that she choosing topics that are lesser known or have been forgotten. Not only do I get to read an incredible story, I also get to learn about pieces of history that I had no knowledge of. Once again she has accomplished this by sharing the moving and tragic story of Romania in its communist era. In the author’s note, Sepetys states: 

“History is the gateway to our collective story and the story of humanity. Historical fiction allows us to explore underrepresented stories and illuminate countries on the map.” 

This is exactly why I love reading historical fiction, but especially love Ruta’s books. She does a phenomenal job of telling beautiful stories while shining the light onto these underrepresented peoples and countries. The amount of time spent and research done is simply amazing. Ruta devotes her life to telling these underrepresented stories! She really is a master storyteller. I Must Betray You is a powerful read that I recommend everyone read. 

I always have complex feelings about Ruta’s books. It feels odd to say that I enjoyed it because there is so much tragedy and heartbreak. But I really did enjoy I Must Betray You despite the difficult to read parts. Ruta is able to seamlessly tell these heartbreaking stories with respect, love, and poise. She creates characters that I always come to love and bond with. I was fully immersed into 1989 Romania. I am so inspired by the citizens, especially the young people, who stood up to oppression. 

I highly encourage everyone to read the author’s note at the end of the book. Reading Ruta’s authors notes are actually one of my favorite parts of reading her books. You can just feel the amount of love and dedication that she puts into telling these stories. I’ll end my review with another quote from her author’s note, 

“Please remember that when adversity is drawn out of the shadows and recognized, we ensure that human beings living under oppression-past and present–know they are not forgotten.

Together, we can shine a light in dark corners of the past.

Together, we can give history a voice.”

I Must Betray You is already released. Check it out today!

Court of Dragons (Dragon Isle Wars, Book 1) – Frost Kay [ARC Review]

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Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis:

As a daughter of the Dragon Court, Wren knows three truths: never show weakness, pay the tithe, and never trust the elves.

When the enemy strikes on the eve of her wedding, Wren has no choice but to fight. Captured, she’s dragged before the elvish king and given two choices.

Death or marriage.

She submits, biding her time as she plots and spies, determined to strike at the heart of the elvish royalty and take back her family’s throne once more. But the more time she spends with her dangerous and achingly handsome husband, she finds herself wavering.

Only the strong survive the hash moors of the Dragon Isles, and she can’t afford to question her loyalties, leaving only one final choice.

Strike hard and fast. Never waver. It’s his heart or hers.

Review:

Huge thank you to Book of Matches Media & Frost Kay for sharing this e-arc with me. The following honest review reflects my experience reading Court of Dragons! 

When I read the blurb for Court of Dragons I knew I absolutely had to read it. I mean what’s not to love . . . enemies to lovers, arranged marriage, slow burn romance, court politics, and dragons!! I am so excited to say that I absolutely LOVED Court of Dragons! It most definitely lived up to the awesome blurb and gorgeous cover! 

Court of Dragons tells the story of Wren, a princess of the Dragon Isles. Wren had a near perfect life . . . a loving family, an upcoming marriage to her childhood sweetheart, and a dragon companion. All of that is torn away when her home is attacked by the Elves. Wren loses everything and is taken prisoner by elvish Prince Arrick. My heart ached for Wren and all she lost. I really liked Wren. She had lost so much, but still managed to find strength to fight. I loved that she was able to let herself cry and feel her grief.

I absolutely loved the tension between Wren and Arrick. The two enemies are forced into marriage by Arrick’s truly evil father, the Elf King. Arranged marriage and forced proximity are some of my favorite tropes featured in fantasy romance! This plus enemies to lovers and slow burn. SWOON. I will say that Court of Dragons is mostly the build up of the relationship between Wren & Arrick. I have a feeling the actual romance is coming in the upcoming books. My favorite part of this slow burn romance is that Wren does not immediately forgive or jump on Arrick when she began to acknowledge her attraction to him. I really like that the author did not make this into an instant love situation (which often happens in books in this genre). I liked watching their relationship slowly develop. And the tension was so good! I definitely need more interaction between the two of them in the next book. I can’t wait to see what happens next with these two.

The reason why Court of Dragons was a four star read for me was that it felt too short. The story was not long enough and felt a bit rushed. I will say that the ending did work really well. It has me dying to get my hands on the next book!! I need more of this world and these characters. And more dragons!!!

Court of Dragons is set to be released November 11th, 2021.

Under the Whispering Door – TJ Klune [ARC Review]

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Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis:

When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead.

Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.

But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life.

When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

Under the Whispering Door is a contemporary fantasy about a ghost who refuses to cross over and the ferryman he falls in love with.

Review:

HUGE thank you to Tor Books, TJ Klune, and Netgalley for sharing this e-arc with me. The following review is my honest opinion and reflects my reading experience.

I fell in love with TJ Klune’s writing last year when I read The House in the Cerulean Sea. That book is so powerful and special. It has become one of my all time favorite books . . . easily in my top five. So when I heard that TJ was releasing a new book I was so excited. (Side note: I want to read his other series and I have a couple of his other books I just haven’t gotten to them yet). The cover and synopsis for Under the Whispering Door immediately captured my attention. I was THRILLED when I received the approval notification from Netgalley.

Under the Whispering Door is a really great book. Did it impact me as much as House did? No. But that does not take away from this story. Under the Whispering Door tells the story of Wallace, a man who recently died and is now being guided by his reaper and the ferryman. My absolute favorite part of Under the Whispering Door was the characters. TJ Klune truly has such an incredible gift of writing the most beautiful characters. Hugo, Mei, Norman, Apollo, and Wallace were all so special. I loved reading their day to day interactions in the tea shop. The relationships that develop between each of the characters are also so well done. I especially enjoyed Mei and Wallace’s friendship. When he first meets Mei, Wallace seemed determined to not like her. But he couldn’t resist her charm!! I grew attached to these characters and definitely shed a few tears.

Under the Whispering Door is primarily a character driven story. I like to read both character and plot driven stories, so I really enjoyed this one. However, I will say that the pacing was a bit off. Because of this I’m not sure I’m sold on the love story. My only other small qualm is that the big life lessons that Wallace learns throughout his time in the tea shop are fairly obvious. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it just wasn’t anything new.

Under the Whispering Door was a fantastic combination of heartbreaking and heartwarming. TJ Klune tells a beautiful story of grief, hope, and family complete with his signature warmth and humor. Reading TJ’s books feels like coming home. I am so glad that I discovered him!

Under the Whispering Door is out September 21st, 2021.

Remember the Stars (Tales of Selyento, Book 1) – Eris Marriott [ARC Review]

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Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis:

All Clarisse wants is to be free. Her life has been governed by abuse, control, and the Church of Light. Tired of ritual exorcisms and condemnations, she’s at the brink of exploding.

Her power is a curse—the reason she can’t be free. Clarisse never asked to be in the center of a centuries-long battle between Terrence, a Reaper-wolf gone rogue, and Death, himself.

If she has to spend one more minute under the controlling thumb of her parents and the Church of Light, she’ll die.

In order to escape, she must choose a side: Death is convinced that mortals wielding power is a recipe for disaster and damnation. Terrence believes magic is a mortal’s key to freedom, enlightenment… maybe immortality.

Will she follow the light of the stars? Or will she let herself fall into the grasp of the shadows?

Trigger/Content Warnings: graphic depictions of abuse, violence, and mental manipulation

Review:

Huge thank you to Eris Marriott and Book of Matches Media for sharing this e-arc with me! The following review is my honest opinion and reflects my reading experience.

I hadn’t heard anything about Remember the Stars prior to working with Book of Matches Media. I was super intrigued by the cover and synopsis. This cover is definitely one of my favorites. It is seriously gorgeous!

Remember the Stars is a young adult dark fantasy story that tells the story of Clarisse, a young woman with magic who has been abused her entire life. It is the first book in a new series called Tales of the Selyento. This story was told in two parts . . . the first is Clarisse’s journey to free herself from the abusers in her life + the second is Clarisse trying to decide what path to take and who to trust. I will say everyone needs to take the time to read the trigger/content warnings prior to reading Remember the Stars. I have included the warnings with the synopsis and at the end of my review.

One of the reasons I was so intrigued by the blurb for this book was the darker themes and cult-like elements of the story. It sounds so weird, but I am totally fascinated by true crime and cults. I thought that Eris Marriott did an excellent job of incorporating the cult (The Church of Light) into the story. She did such a great job showing the manipulation of the cult and all of the people/creatures in Clarisse’s life. There were definitely scenes that were difficult to read . . . again please check out the trigger/content warnings. I will say that I struggled with Clarisse and Terrence’s relationship. The whole thing felt very toxic and full of manipulation, but I think that was the author’s intent.

One of the most unique parts of Remember the Stars is Clarisse’s magic. It sounds so pretty!! It also seems to have no limit in terms of what her magic can do. Although, there are consequences for magic. This is a major part of Clarisse’s journey and it definitely kept me on my toes!

I have a couple of qualms . . . actually just one major one . . . the arachnid centaur demon creature. That is something I definitely did not need in my life lol. The author did too good of a job depicting that image!

Remember the Stars was already released and is available for purchase today! It’s also on kindle unlimited!!

Trigger/Content Warnings: graphic depictions of abuse, violence, and mental manipulation

Hook, Line, and Sinker (Bellinger Sisters, #2) – Tessa Bailey [ARC Review]

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Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis:

In the follow-up to It Happened One Summer, Tessa Bailey delivers another deliciously fun rom-com about a former player who accidentally falls for his best friend while trying to help her land a different man…

King crab fisherman Fox Thornton has a reputation as a sexy, carefree flirt. Everyone knows he’s a guaranteed good time–in bed and out–and that’s exactly how he prefers it. Until he meets Hannah Bellinger. She’s immune to his charm and looks, but she seems to enjoy his… personality? And wants to be friends? Bizarre. But he likes her too much to risk a fling, so platonic pals it is.

Now, Hannah’s in town for work, crashing in Fox’s spare bedroom. She knows he’s a notorious ladies’ man, but they’re definitely just friends. In fact, she’s nursing a hopeless crush on a colleague and Fox is just the person to help with her lackluster love life. Armed with a few tips from Westport’s resident Casanova, Hannah sets out to catch her coworker’s eye… yet the more time she spends with Fox, the more she wants him instead. As the line between friendship and flirtation begins to blur, Hannah can’t deny she loves everything about Fox, but she refuses to be another notch on his bedpost.

Living with his best friend should have been easy. Except now she’s walking around in a towel, sleeping right across the hall, and Fox is fantasizing about waking up next to her for the rest of his life and… and… man overboard! He’s fallen for her, hook, line, and sinker. Helping her flirt with another guy is pure torture, but maybe if Fox can tackle his inner demons and show Hannah he’s all in, she’ll choose him instead?

Review:

HUGE thank you to Netgalley and Avon+Harper Voyager for sending me this e-arc in exchange for my honest review. I absolutely ADORED the first book in this series. I was so beyond excited when I saw Hook, Line, and Sinker was available to request on Netgalley. And then I was approved and I did the biggest happy dance. I love these books!!

This is my first time reviewing a contemporary romance and I don’t really know where to start. All I can say is that I absolutely loved Hannah and Fox’s story. I’m a sucker for any kind of friends/enemies to lovers and forced proximity tropes. I loved watching Hannah and Fox’s relationship bloom into something. I especially liked that their text messages from the past months apart were included at the beginning of the story. It really gave nice context to their friendship. Overall, I think that Hook, Line, and Sinker was slightly less good than It Happened One Summer, but I still totally loved it. This series was my first experience with Tessa Bailey’s writing and I loved it! The setting (I LOVED being back in Westport!), characters, banter, and romance were all done so well. And the smut is *chef’s kiss* amazing.

If you are looking for a fun, easy-to-read, smutty romance then definitely check out It Happened One Summer and Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey!

Hook, Line, and Sinker is set to be released March 1st, 2022.

A Dance with the Fae Prince (Married to Magic, #2) – Elise Kova [ARC Review]

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Rating: ⭐️⭐️💫

Synopsis:

Cinderella meets The Cruel Prince in this stand-alone fantasy romance about a human girl and her marriage to the prince of the fae.

She knew her hand in marriage would be sold. She had no idea a fae prince was the buyer.

Katria swore she’d never fall in love. She’s seen what “love” means through the cruelty of her family. So when she’s married off to the mysterious Lord Fenwood for a handsome price, all Katria wants is a better life than the one she’s leaving. Feelings are off the table.

But her new husband makes not falling in love difficult.

As their attraction begins to grow, so too do the oddities within her new life: strange rules, screams in the night, and attacks by fae that Katria never thought were real. When she witnesses a ritual not meant for human eyes, Katria finds herself spirited away to the land of Midscape.

Surviving the fae wilds as a human is hard enough. Katria must survive as a human who accidently pilfered the magic of ancient kings – magic a bloodthirsty king is ready to kill her for in order to keep his stolen throne – and her new husband is the rightful heir in hiding.

The power to save the fae is in her hands. But who will save her from a love she vowed never to feel?

Review:

Thank you to Elise Kova & Book of Matches Media for sharing this awesome e-arc with me. This honest review is based on my experience reading!

A Dance with the Fae Prince is the second stand-alone novel in Elise Kova’s Married to Magic universe. It is not at all necessary to read A Deal with the Elf King to dive into this book.

A Dance with the Fae Prince is a fantasy romance inspired by Cinderella and the tales of Psyche & Eros. This fun adventure is full of fae and all kinds of magical creatures. I am a sucker for any story featuring fae so I absolutely loved how much fae content there was in ADWTFP. Elise does such an incredible job of painting the picture of the fae world and all the different characters. From the first moment we see the group of fae dancing around the fire I was totally captured by Elise’s vivid descriptions and imagery. There are so many great characters, but Raph is definitely my favorite fae. He’s such an adorable and mischievous young fae boy!

Ultimately, I thought that A Dance with the Fae Prince was just okay. The story was very slow and not much happened throughout the book. Despite the story being slow, the actual progression of events was strange. A lot more time had actually passed than I thought. For example, at one point Katria describes how she’s been in the fae world for weeks. I honestly had no idea it had been that long. It seemed like it should have only been days. The pacing was just off. The plot itself was also very predictable. I wasn’t surprised by any of the twists or the ending.

There were some very powerful quotes that I did really love . . .

“I vow then that I will never let this new husband or anyone else make me feel small. I will try with all my might to stand tall. I will never live cowering again.”

“Love is the closest thing we have to meaning in this world. The love of a mother for her children, the love between friends, the love of a husband and wife, love for who we are and all those who strove before us to hand us the world we have now — love is why we live, why we fight, why we carry on when things get tough . . . it is not always easy. But it is our reprieve from true hardship, not the hardship itself.”

“Because now you know this is how you should have been treated all along. Because you know that if one person sees you, respects you as they should, then there’s no excuse for anyone else not to. The fault does not lie–has never lain–with you, but rather the shortcomings of those you have been surrounded by. You were always worthy.”

Overall I enjoyed A Dance with the Fae Prince. It was nothing super exciting or original, but it was fun. If you’re looking for a quick read featuring all sorts of magical creatures then I’d definitely check ADWTFP out!

A DANCE WITH THE FAE PRINCE IS SET TO BE RELEASED AUGUST 19TH.