Book Stop: Oldies But Goodies -My first Love, Historical Romance – Velvet Montgomery Annuals Quadrilogy by Jude Deveraux

Whew that title there quite the mouth/handful! I feel like re-reading series that you have loved in the past is crucial! Not only do we, as readers, sometimes need a little push out of slumps, we also need a reminder of why we love to read. It gives us a feeling of nostalgia and a reminiscence of past feelings. Occasionally, I will come to a different opinion based on my own experiences, or maybe I never really understood what an author was trying to put out there until I finally had the knowledge I needed to comprehend it. I re-read this series in February for the Gimme a V Challenge on Goodreads! Sorry, not sorry, Jude is still one of my all time favorite author’s! I’m pretty sure I own almost everything she has written! These books, along with a few others, some even by other authors, created a freaking mess of a monster when it comes to historical romances… oh so long ago! Even after many rereads my love for these stories continues and this family of Jude’s is one of my favorites!

The Velvet Promise by Jude Deveraux

The Velvet Promise by Jude Deveraux

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publisher: Pocket Books

Published: January 1st 1991
(first published 1981)

Genre: Romance, Historical Romance

Series: Velvet Montgomery Annuals Quadrilogy #1The Montgomery/Taggert Family (Chronological order)

Reread Review
Leaving this at 4 Goodreads Stars.. probably 3 Deveraux stars though for me at least. I notice a lot of salt in the reviews, and I feel like I should remind everyone that this was written in the height of the bodice ripper era, as well as set in a time when women were viewed as nothing but property and sold to the highest bidder. This happened irl, in fact in some countries this still happens. I feel like some of the outrage seems a little over dramatic considering these points. There are a ton of historical romances that have these types of settings and the reason for it is most likely because that is actually history.. What I love about Jude Deveraux is even when the males in her books may act this way, she always makes her heroines stronger, better, and wiser than them and eventually they learn the error of their ways.

Judith, our FMC, of course is no exception, with the brains, as well as the go get it done attitude, she knows how to put a man in his place… eventually. This is actually the 3rd Montgomery book. I love rereading this series because I just love going back to the beginnings. These books started so many lines of Montgomery’s, leading to so dang many wonderful new series! In this book, Gavin Montgomery has to grow up very early, practically raising his 3 brothers after their parents die, and managing the estates as best he can.. which isn’t all that well.. In love with Alice, the epitome of womanhood in his eyes, she can do no wrong. Little does he know she is a scheming wench of the worst sort, and even a little Psycho. She turns his marriage proposal down and he is forced to marry another, the rich Judith who is basically sold to him by her father because he is desperate for male grandchildren. They meet on the wedding day and everything seems set for a HEA, however Alice has other plans and throws all kinds of wrenches in everything. Things just seem to domino effect for the worse afterward. Gavin of course, manages to practically mess everything up and make things a million times worse because he is probably the most unobservant, obstinate, and idiotic male in existence lol. Judith must open Gavin’s eyes to what a real woman is about, before its too late and he looses her forever…

I’ve read this series dozens of times over the years and Gavin is probably most like the very first Montgomery hero in The Black Lyon. In fact this story is quite similar to that one. Love doing rereads!
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Highland Velvet by Jude Deveraux

Highland Velvet by Jude Deveraux

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publisher: Pocket Books

Published: first published 1982

Series: Velvet Montgomery Annuals Quadrilogy #2The Montgomery/Taggert Family (Chronological order)

Reread Review

Jude Deveraux is a freaking master… that’s all there is too it. This entire story is so complex, and yet when you pull everything away the whole book is about an arrogant hero and a stubborn heroine neither wanting to bend to each other and causing each other all kinds of problems. When I say that in other books a couple doesn’t have much adversity to “temper” their love its this kind of adversity I mean most I think. You know the kind of love that isn’t perfect.. it starts with lust, progresses to near hatred, begrudging respect and eventually after hardship and camaraderie comes love. I feel like that is “most” like love in real life except it it doesn’t end at that sentence.. the cycle starts over every day.. every week.. and so on and so forth. Both our heroine and hero are like-able and yet so flawed but eventually they realize their faults and own up to them!

This second book in the Velvet Series stars Stephen Montgomery and Bronwyn McAran. Both reluctant participants in a marriage contrived by the King. Of course Stephen sets off on the wrong foot because of events from the last book so better late than never right? Not to Bronwyn, who has the biggest pride and stubbornness of any female Scotland it seems. It is a battle from the beginning, a tug of rope that constantly moves back and forth neither wining and both starting to look ridiculous and wrong most of the time. Only by accepting each other and their faults can they move forward and give up their flaws to grasp a real love to last through time!

Another thing I really love about the series is that events are happening/overlapping with the other brother’s books so its like reading a really big book with all their prospectives as they explain away certain things. I just love this author and am excited to continue my reread of the series.
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Velvet Song by Jude Deveraux

Velvet Song by Jude Deveraux

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publisher: Pocket Books

Published: June 1st 1991 (First Published 1983)

Series: Velvet Montgomery Annuals Quadrilogy #3,

Reread Review
In the past this was one of my favorites in this series because I loved Raine! I find that during my reread of this series that though, I still liked Raine through most of the book, he was quite exasperating! The arrogance and the pride.. OMG eye roll worthy! Yet another thing about Jude Deveraux’s books that I like is that the males are far from perfect. Even if they seem that way for a bit.. just wait they are going to do something ridiculous soon lol. This book continues the love to hate, hate to love, give up and love momentum lol. The biggest adversaries really in these books are the characters and their flaws! That is just so real to me because in life it is also true!

Raine Montgomery has been declared a traitor to the crown after becoming enraged finding out that Roger had taken Stephens bride Bronwyn, and taking the kings soldiers down to wage war on Chatworth! Raine finding nowhere to go and refusing to own up to his mistakes is now living in the wood with a group of other cast outs! Alyx raised in a small village has spent her whole life on a pedestal due to her uncanny vocal and musical talent. Treated like a saint because of her “gift from god.” That is until slimy Lord Pagnell happens by one day during her voice practice and decides to take her for himself.. Little does he know Alyx doesn’t put up with no crap, and after putting him in his place her world turns upside down as she battles the system serf vs lord for the first time and realizes she can never win. Her only choice is to run away into the forest to Raine and his camp. Posing as a boy her and Raine immediately begin their relationship of constant bickering as each character is incredibly stubborn and neither will bend an inch.. That is until Raine discovers there is more to this “boy” in his tent! Sparks fly, as a battle of wills ensue which may actually pull them apart…

This book is happening simultaneously with the 4th book so its kind of odd but there are some tiny spoilers there if you can catch them! I also love that there are multiple references to The Black Lyon in this one. Including Alyx’s Lion belt which was a big part of that story! On to book 4!
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The Velvet Angel by Jude Deveraux

Velvet Angel by Jude Deveraux

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publisher: Pocket Books

Published: January 1st 1991 (First Published 1983

Series: Velvet Montgomery Annuals Quadrilogy #4,

Reread review
Sigh Miles! My favorite Montgomery brother in this series! I can’t ever decide if he is the best or worst rake ever written! Its a toss up! This book in particular has been my favorite during the rereads! Its crazy that with each book I have discovered different reasons for why I love this author’s works! In this book I realized I love Jude’s writing because it never ends at just “I love you.” Its like first comes hate, then comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a whole hawtmess of crap after that they have to work through all while dealing with their own character flaws and assumptions! In this book though all our wonderful females come together and bring their own talents to the table to rescue our boys.. because they are men and where would they be without us girls! (Rotting in dungeons probably.)

Elizabeth Chatworth, Roger’s sister is captured while rescuing a “songbird” and wrapped up and hand delivered to Miles Montgomery as a ploy to pit the Chatworths and Montgomerys further at each other’s throats. Elizabeth, however, can hold her own, she grew up with Edward she knows how to dip and dodge a defiler of women! Miles is instantly enchanted with this one woman who not only says the word no, but screams hell no! Keeping her and journeying to Scotland is his ploy to show her Montgomery’s aren’t the bad guys all the while planning to woo her! Elizabeth slowly learns how men are supposed to act but it seems as though it is too late, the hatred between their families seems way to much to overcome, as they battle their feelings for one another, their families hatred and anyone else who wonders in! Elizabeth must really search herself and her horrific past to find her confidence, and heal her heart just in time to maybe save her brother and his new lady and rid these families of this hatred forever!

This was one of the more entertaining books in the series with lots of laughter, food fights, belly dancing and finally all our female characters coming together to save their men! Love this series!
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Ok so I need Ideas from you guys! Let me know what are your go to’s! The oldies but goodies you’ll keep around for all time! Thanks so much and have a fantabulous hump day tomorrow 😉!

Book Stop: Freebie Friday: Library Book Haul Reviews

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Published: Published September 29th 2015

Series: Six of Crows #1Grishaverse #4

Genre: Fantasy, YA

A heist to end all heists, and if it can be pulled off, maybe even the salvation of the world as they know it! After reading the first GrishaVerse series and feeling a tad underwhelmed afterward I was a little leery of starting this one. I am so excited to say that I am glad I didn’t put it off any longer. This book, for me, ended up having all the things the first book ended up lacking and pretty much excels in the parts the first series fell short! Almost like the author picked my brain and improved all the things I wasn’t quite feeling from Alina’s story.

The world was super easy to sink into, of course I already had some prior knowledge, but honestly I almost think that you could figure out enough that this series could be a standalone. There was enough info there to make the connections. The story was angsty, daring, action packed, a little on the dark side with some intermittent humor thrown in just like I like! I feel that one of the biggest strengths of this story, that the first trilogy lacked, was concise, diverse, well rounded characters with awesome relationship intensity and a great camaraderie. The story had a real “Oceans” or “Now You See Me” vibe. I just couldn’t put it down. I also loved how there was this air of mystery surrounding several of our characters, and that certain plot points would remain hidden until a reveal where you found out what the plan was just when the enemy was finding out! Really keeps you on your toes!

I just can’t say enough about the characters, I feel like my ramble switch got flicked! Lets meet out team shall we:

  • Kaz our resident “team leader” after basically raising himself in the barrels has slowly risen to the top of his gang all for revenge. Kaz is like the Sherlock Holmes of thievery and strategy this guy is a magician pulling rabbits out of all kinds of places and always thinking 10 steps ahead.. and you as the reader never know until BAM plan reveals!
  • Inez, freed from the menagerie (aka barrels brothel basically) by Kaz is trying to escape her horrid past. Code name “Wraith,” Inez is Kaz’s right hand chick.. she moves silently and is everywhere at once and wicked with some blades! Captured by slavers from her acrobat family, Inez was rescued from her life by Kaz and has been loyal ever since.. however, she is slowly realizing she must live her own life, and have her own goals or she will always be in 2nd place.
  • Jesper, known for his excellence with guns is our crack shot and resident baby sitter.. apparently! Has some Macgyver like tendencies. Has some issues with gaming tables apparently but has a quick charming wit!
  • Nina corporalki heartrender grisha with the power to stop hearts with the squeeze of a hand. Residing in the barrels for quite some time trying to save Mathias from Hellgate prison… since she may have put him there… uses her powers for therapeutic purposes and is willing to tag along to save Grisha’s everywhere…and to free Mathias. This girl is my sista from another mista!
  • Mathias the turncoat.. once a Fjerdan slaver who captured, held, and basically lured Grisha to their death has been sentenced to who knows how long in Hellgate prison for it. Charmed by Nina’s zest for life, effervescent attitude he helps her and ends up tortured about being a traitor to his country, looking for revenge.. and freedom!
  • Wylan…ammunition expert, Macgyver extraordinaire with a shocking history that may provide some leverage if stuff goes south!

I don’t want to go into what all the plot entails, because I would accidentally ruin something I’m sure. It was a great heist story with lots of twists, turns, and on the spot quick thinking! Super enjoyable to read and I can’t wait to dive into the second book and find out the fate of this Grisha world!

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Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Published: August 27th 2013

Series: Throne of Glass #2


Reread Review
There have been several times I have gone for a reread of a book and lamented the fact that I didn’t leave a review.. or a note.. or something to give myself a heads up for the next time I read it! This of course is one of those times! It was like reading it for the first time, things were coming out of left field and I couldn’t remember half the book, my heart was breaking, and I was so angry at myself for not leaving a review the first time. Just 5 stars really isn’t enough to express my range of emotions during this book! I’m so glad that I will now have a heads up for the next time, because there will definitely be a next time! There were some EPIC reveals in this 2nd book in the series that just took my breath away, and still we have so far to go!

I have to tiptoe around this plot because my fingers are dying to type out all kinds of spoilers for all to see! For most of begging of this book, it seems like routine assignments in the life of the King’s assassin. It was almost like the author was luring me in with this false sense of security here. Just one more person for Celeana to find a way to be rid of, only this one she has a past with… Celeana is just out doing her thing, being all awesome, when BAM plots begin unfolding and people start dying and Celeana becomes the most BAD A EVER! I knew that this series was what sent me on a strong heroine kick years ago.. but I couldn’t remember the exact point at which i decided that no one needs a damsel in distress when they could have someone like Celeana, but now I get it! Now I remember! As Celeana becomes more involved in her next case she discovers her new target isn’t what he seems and this “resistance” the king speaks of is real, hiding out there. Not only that but Celeana must finally start to choose.. the resistance, her heritage, the memories she has buried deep inside her for so long, or the “supposed” safety she has now. She can no longer play the coward. The time to act is at hand…. before forces are unleashed that noone may survive!

I am so excited about continuing this series after this reread! I’ve been having to physically restrain myself from binging my way through in order to finish rl stuff as well as other reads I’ve promised to do, but just know…. I’m coming for you book #3!
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These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Published: August 7th 2018

Series: Stream Raiders #1

Genre: YA, Fantasy

I was thinking 3.5 for this and started with just 3 stars marked but I had to go ahead and round it up while writing the review as I started remembering all the things I really liked about it lol. It was a little hard to sink into the world at first, as the world building and the set up came at us all at once in the beginning along with a skip ahead scenario where we kind of had to play connect the dots for a bit until more info was revealed at the end. It was a pretty enjoyable read once the world started to make a little more sense and I understood more of “why” things were happening. I think the skip forward kind of threw me a little since we didn’t learn what actually happened during the war until much later so I was a little lost for a bit. I am loving the magic system here tending more towards herbology. I would love to see more of this and what can be done with it. What little we have seen so far is super interesting! The characters were pretty well rounded and had spunk and of course my favorite the intermittent devil may care humor! Sucker for things that make me laugh!

We start off at the beginning of a revolution where a small island of immigrants are opposing a corrupt religious zealot king hell bent on doing away with all kinds of magic. Our story takes place in the 3 different viewpoints of our main 3 characters. Lu, our FMC, a child soldier of the revolution who doubles as a spy and does secret missions in order to further the revolutions cause. It was a little jarring how young the characters were at the start of the story and some of the things they had been through. Deveraux Bell, aka Vex our dashing steam raider with no affiliations and a devil may care attitude. and Benat naive son of the ruthless religious zealot king. Skip forward 6 years the battle is over and it seems there is peace on the island of Grace Loray..or is there. During treaty negotiations things quickly start moving south as Vex gets captured, intentionally, and stirs up all kind of issues between Grace Loray’s council, the Argridian delegates and the Steam Raiders who are still a little salty over the revolution. An Argridian delegate comes up missing and the countries are on the point of war once again. Lu, having been key in the last war will stop at nothing to prevent this from happening again.. from having to participate in a war again. She is still dealing with what happened in the last war. As she sees events unfold she sees a plot to turn Grace Loray in on itself.. and who better to help her than Vex to save the day. But all is not as it seems, and there are many more players in this deadly game than could possibly be expected.. nor did they know the lengths a mad king will go abject control…

I of course love Lu, who seems humble and prideful all at the same time. She is intensely passionate about herb magic and her people/country. She is also a straight Bad A, which of course I’m a sucker for lol. Vex, with his witty, hilarious sarcasm kept the story super entertaining. I’m not a huge fan of Ben.. yet, he seemed super naive, and kind of slow through most of the story.. Its like after 6 years of this life he is just now catching on to how the game is played… meh. Of course, as soon as I start liking him better we are left with the token cliffhanger ending lol. I’m definitely going to keep an eye out for the next in this series!
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Book Stop: ARC Review: A Wicked Reputation by Liana Lefey

A Wicked Reputation by Liana LeFey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC

Publish Date: February 25, 2019

Series: Once Wicked #3

Genre: Historical Romance

3.5 stars rounded up because even though the plot was pretty straight forward and simple it was a really fast enjoyable read! Sometimes I just need a reminder of why I fell in love with historical romances in the first place and this book sent me straight there. The balls, the gowns, the gossip, the attitudes, the drama, and…. the passion!

This is book 3 in the Once Wicked series and can without a doubt stand alone. I have not read books one and two but after reading this book I would not be opposed to going back and seeing who books one and two are about! This book was almost a play on being the opposite of what historical romances normally entail. In this book is the illusion that the daring scandalous courtesan is after some unsuspecting benefactor rather than a rake after some sweet innocent. I liked the difference though I’m not sure that, realistically men dragged their known mistresses off to ton balls.. that seems a little too scandalous to be accurate historically, but it made for a great read! I had no problem falling right into the story, and even though the secrets were slow reveals I was caught up pretty quickly in the intrigue of it all. I am all for a rule breaker, and any woman that can bring a rake to heel, so this book was a win for me!

Diana, ruined by a petty rumor from her betrothed is cast out by her uncle and left to fend for herself, rather than deal with any dishonor fighting said rumor could bring. Innocent but unable to prove herself Diana must figure out a way to make ends meet. Entering into a mutually beneficial relationship in which Diana gains financial freedom in an intricate plot to protect her benefactor’s secrets, she posses as his mistress and learns the ways of a courtesan. Traipsing about court flaunting her status in her uncles face bringing herself some semblance of revenge she is well versed in the arts of coquettishly maneuvering herself out of others clutches and for those she can’t out maneuver her charming benefactor takes care of on the dueling field. That is until everything she has been building threatens to collapse when, overly curious, Lord Lucas Blackthorn becomes enthralled with her, and is not as easily convinced of her act. Not only that, but the feelings he awakens in her threatens to destroy her newfound family, and makes her remember all the things she once wanted so long ago.

Great, fast, simple read. Very easy to sink into and become involved. The characters were pretty rounded and the feelings seemed intense. I am excited for this series, and I hope to run across more by this author!

I requested and received a copy of this for honest review purposes via NetGalley and the publisher Entangled Publishing, LLC. Many thanks for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this work.
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Book Stop: ARC Review: Vivatera by Candace J. Thomas

Vivatera by Candace J. Thomas

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Publisher: Shadesilk Press

Published: August 8, 2010

Series: Vivatera #1

Genre: YA, Fantasy

2.5 stars rounded up here. Whew, this book is sitting on what I feel is a mountain of potential with the plot concept/premise. Unfortunately for me the way it was executed really put a damper on all that potential. The main problem, for me, is that all the backstory and world building actually occur at the end of the book, almost like an afterthought. Throughout most of the book I was agonizing over the lack of backstory and world building, thinking this must be a spin off of sorts.. I checked twice to make sure it was actually the first in the series. Even if an author wants to do a slow reveal on word building and backstory and maybe keep certain things to the end as a mystery there has to be something in the beginning alluding to the fact that eventually we might get some answers. There were also several instances where climactic parts of the story would vaguely end without much detail and cut to another chapter. I personally obviously like details and explanations of how things have occurred.

These things in particular needed to be at the beginning.. or at least hinted about, and revealed throughout the plot: A hint of or the actual prophecy at the beginning of the book, or at least a description of the different races so we know what they are throughout the book, that way when they do something “different” it makes some sense, or explaining vaguely towards the beginning.. maybe in a prologue or something the events that have lead us to now, like the old kings history, or the history of how the magic came to be in this world, or the history of the stones themselves…. Not having this information really hurt the plot in my opinion because it took away from the actual story which was really interesting and could have been riveting.

We have some really abrupt insta love in this story. That isn’t really my thing but I can get on board if it seems to have some sort of foundation but here it really didn’t have enough of anything. It was a tad jarring even where it popped up in the story, it seemed to be necessary for Naomi to exit camp but not for Reynolds? Either way, I feel like there should have been more prior to the proclamation.. like maybe a recognition, or maybe even dreaming about a boy hero.. or something.

That all being said.. There was enough explanations at the very end of the book to answer most of the questions I had and to ease some of my anxiety and frustration. I am sad at where the book ended, things were just starting to make sense and we come to an abrupt end just as I started to feel we were actually getting somewhere. I am torn between wanting to see what will happen next for these characters and not wanting to put myself through it..

Received a copy via NetGalley and the Publisher Shadesilk Press in exchange for an honest review.
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Book Stop: ARC Review: The Stone’s Heart by Jessica Thorne

The Stone’s Heart by Jessica Thorne

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Publisher: Bookouture

Published: January 19, 2019

Series: The Queen’s Wing #2

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Scifi, Romance

I requested and received an AR copy of this book via NetGalley and the publisher Bookouture for reviewing purposes. Many thanks for allowing me to read and review this work!

I must be honest. I did not read the blurb for this book before requesting it. Having read the first in the series I jumped at the chance to further explore the world. That being said it kind of threw me when I realized that though Bel and Con are present in this new adventure the book was more a continuation of the world with new character’s story brought to the forefront. In my opinion this book could probably stand alone, but having read the first one did add some enrichment, and backstory in. I love that we got some minor continuation of Bel and Con’s story but at the same time a whole new set of circumstances for our characters here.

Our FMC in this story is Petra, who after the last book and her efforts has been promoted to general for Bel and Con’s military. Bel and Con still preparing for wedding attempt #2. Petra is tasked with guarding Zander, Bel’s brother, while visiting for their wedding. Petra and Zander have some history which is brought to light. Zander arrives from the Empire, followed closely by Lord Teel, one of the Empress’s most favorite courtiers, and company. Turns out Zander may be on the run from the Empress’s plots and schemes and interestingly enough to Con, ever the nerd <3, the Empress has some technology and mecha they are somewhat familiar with. As Petra becomes more involved trying to protect Zander not only from the Empress’s schemes but also from her own past, Lord Teel manages to wheedle his way in. As if all this isn’t enough an old foe of Anthaese long since buried, has reawakened and is now claiming vengeance in the form of a religious uprising. We really got to learn even more about Anthaese’s history in this story and we get to see more of our “dragons” as well as some set up for further dragons.

I felt that the story itself was good and very enjoyable combining the magic of the world with the scifi tech. What kept me from loving it, I think, was the new characters I think. I think it was the lack of diversity of personalities and a lack of depth, neither Petra nor Zander are incredible or stand out really. There was just a lack of passion and intensity throughout the whole story that I think would have been very emotion provoking had it been present. The action and adventure were there, but it was just a little superficial failing to really grasp me and keep me invested even during the most climactic parts. I think that if the author had played up Petra, Zander and even Teel’s characters more and made them deeper it would have had a stunning effect. Even Bel and Con didn’t suck me in quite like in the first story. Where I would have experienced such profound heartbreak and even horror during certain parts of this story, it just didn’t really hit me emotionally like the scenes should have.

I really like this world and look forward to seeing what the story has for us next, however I would really like to see some passion, and intensity in the characters in the next story. Make me really feel it.
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Book Stop: Freebie Friday: Library Hookup Reviews!

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Published: January 17th 2017

Series: Carve the Mark #1

Genre: YA, Fantasy, SciFi

I need to start off by saying that Veronica Roth broke my heart once before so I’ve been avoiding her work whilst taking time to stitch myself back together. I rarely if ever read reviews before I try a book… sometimes I may have to pause the book to go read some reviews especially if I feel like I have a really harsh criticism just to see if it is just me.. In this books case, however, I read the reviews before hand and was set up to force myself to finish it.. but I was so surprised. I had no problem staying super engrossed in the story which moved at a pretty decent pace in comparison to other things I have read. In fact I really liked it. There are parts of the book that seem pretty hopeless and in a lot of books that will bring me down to the point where I start to dislike them but the characters resilience, and determination really made up for those times I thought. The only problems I really had was the lack of backstory really about the worlds and this war that seems to be playing out.. this universe? controlled by this “current,” is pretty complex and it would seem like it has a really rich backstory especially between the people I would have liked a little more of that. I also saw a lot of reviews about the racial connotations and I am embarrassed to say that I read those reviews before hand and completely forgot all about it during the story and it never occurred to me that was going on so I don’t really feel its as “obvious” as they made it seem… either that or I’m just oblivious lol.

The concept we start out with in this story is that every person has a future, but only some have fates. Fates basically being a prophesied future that cannot be changed. What they never stress or tell you is that they can be interpreted a million ways of course…. like all prophecies but no one is supposed to know their “fate” until after death. People, also still have some sort of choices almost like their personality or decisions would effect out the wording on the “fate” is interpreted by life itself. Our MMC Akos and our FMC Cyra come from opposite sides of “the divide.” Akos from a Thuvhe family, 3rd son of the Oracle. Going about his happy life but his mother always hinting at some greater purpose, with a sad demeanor. Up until the day comes where fates were read aloud and his world was turned upside down by the Shotet people, his father murdered and him and his brother kidnapped. Cyra, the daughter of the Shotet King, is cursed by her “currentgift” to always feel and cause pain becomes a tool for her evil elder brother who is determined to conquer his fate and not fall to the Thuvhe ruling family. Ryz her brother has lost his humanity it seems in his desperate attempts to control his people and thwart fate itself. Cyra and Akos are thrown together him being the respite to her curse, but things aren’t exactly what they seem in this world, nor do we honestly know who the real enemy is….

We still have alot of questions plot wise, and some serious intrigue going on here… I have my theories but I don’t want to give any spoilers. One thing is for sure Veronica Roth has no problem killing off some characters… This book was completely engaging for me, nerve racking as well. We are left with a big reveal cliffhanger.. love those (insert sarcasm) lol. Can’t wait to see where this is headed.

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Lady Smoke by Laura Sebastian

Lady Smoke by Laura Sebastian

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Published: Delacorte Press

Publisher: February 5th 2019

Series: Ash Princess Trilogy #2

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Such a great continuation of the series. This book picks up right where we left off in book 1. I feel like we are starting to get more and more information about the magic in this world but I think we have only touched the surface. For the most part, I feel like Theo is finally growing up, she is still impulsive and arrogant but she has tempered it with people to care for. What kept me from giving this book 5 stars was that the plot line seemed to drag on at certain parts and during that time there didn’t seem to be anything plot related going on.. almost like we are plotting along and ….squirrel. I get the reasons behind why they start their journey by visiting another land to collect allies but the time spent there almost seemed wasted. We did finally get to point B from point A and I say almost wasted because we did learn some things but it was a long drive.

Theo and her entourage journey to Sta’Crivero, where the King has collected suitors from all the lands to meet with Theo so she can choose a husband best suited to her needs. Since her desire is an army to boot the Kaiser out of Astrea this is her main concern. Little does she know, the scheezy king is basically auctioning her off to the highest bidder and not all the bidders are there to play fair. During their stay they visit the refugee camp and come to the realization that just because they aren’t slaves like in Astrea their quality of life is almost as bad. I love loved Theo and Soren’s relationship in this book.. Its like they cleared the air and from that point on they were completely honest with each other.. no games. It was refreshing. When suitor’s Theo shows interest in start dying, and Soren is implicated, Theo becomes desperate to both save her people and finally escape the Kaiser’s clutches all the while trying to avoid the clutches of someone just as bad. With a not so great plan, and her desperate people at her back Theo finally gets to make a choice of a queen.. her or her kingdom. The surprising part is the person giving her the choice…..and how it turns out.

I can’t believe that we are left with that ending and now have to wait till 2020 for some closure!! Here is to hoping Theo really brings it in the next book! Im also wondering if the next book will pickup right where we left off here… or if some time will have passed due to some circumstances… Uggghhh so far away!!!

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Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Published: Henry Holt and Company

Publisher:  June 17th 2014

Series: The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #3Grishaverse #3

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance

My excitement for this series has been slowly tapering off as things drag on… I’m not sure what is throwing me off. Maybe its the role confusion here? The bad guys just aren’t bad enough and the good guys just aren’t that good maybe? Or maybe its just Alina.. I had been hoping across the series to finally click with her but she is just so hard to lock down. One minute she is funny and sassy, the next minute she is morose and selfish, and every now and then a burst of self confidence comes out of no where. Its like no matter how much training she has, or how many times a chapter ends with her gaining some conviction from somewhere she is always just freaking wingin’ it. If I had to say anything she just isn’t heroine material… I feel like the story was being led by a side character and I kept waiting on her to truly step up into her destiny or this “Aha” moment but really even with all the events that happened when the story ended… There she was just ordinary… Its like the Shakespeare saying:

” Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” but in this case the character was like “oh Heck no”… lol.

We start right where book 2 left off. Alina and her “sun” followers along with her loyal Grisha gang are trapped underground, while the Apparat tries to play his leadership games. Alina is left without all her powers after her last run in with the Darkling, and she is desperate for some sort of hope of beating him so they set off to find the last amplifier. The “real” light of this book and the book before it, Nikolai, catches up with them and they head off to rally their allies. Betrayal from in their midst, leads them straight to the Darkling and yet another battle ensues in which mother and son must face off while Alina goes in search of the 3rd amplifier. We got more and more backstory on the amplifiers themselves and the man who first had the idea for them. As Alina continue’s her journey it becomes increasingly obvious that not only does she not want what seems to be her destiny but she is almost desperately trying to put off making any decisions or committing herself while she grasps for what she truly wants. As warnings catch up to her Alina realizes that the she will need the 3rd amplifier to defeat the darkness and the fold but the cost is just too much….

I really liked the plot twist at the end, but where, in the 2nd book, it seems like Alina is embracing her awesomeness and her destiny, it just isn’t happening she is back and forth giving me the whiplash. Also, I do feel like the ending was a little abrupt, like we really didn’t get to see the effects of their journey really. I think all in all it was a good series but it was not what I would call epic. I am super excited though, to read Nikolai’s story because he has been my favorite from his first scene!

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Hit or Miss: Kindle Unlimited Audio Books

I’m not sure about you guys but I have to have some audio books on hand because I just have too much going on most of the time to sit down and read. Granted I read really fast so when I do sit down I can turn out some books, however when I’m out soccer mommin’ it up and running a million errands between grocery stores, library, school pickups, bills, and yard work I love to have an audio book or 2 on hand to keep myself going. I use the kindle app on Iphone and I pay for KU so if I’m in a bind and need a quick audio I head to KU. I will say that it is a PAIN to sift through a million audios on an Iphone, also there have been multiple times I’ve been searching through the “audio” books and ended up downloading something without audio.. so irritating. It seems that if any of a series has audio availability then they chuck in the rest of the series even if it doesn’t. All that being said, I have a short attention span and so audio’s don’t always do it for me but I books a shot and if I can’t get into them I’ll switch over to reading it myself. Here are some KU audios I have enjoyed, and some that were meh.. as well as some I had to read myself because the audio killed me. Please comment and leave any audio’s you have enjoyed off KU and I’ll go take a look.. sifting through all of them is so time consuming lol.


All these series by Jeff Wheeler are amazing reads available with audio narrated by Kate Rudd and she is possibly one of my most favorite narrators. These series are all interconnected at certain points and are wonderful MG/YA reads!

  1. The Queen’s Poisoner (Kingfountain #1) by Jeff Wheeler 
  2. The Wretched of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood #1) by Jeff Wheeler
  3. The Banished of Muirwood (Covenant of Muirwood #1) by Jeff Wheeler
  4. Storm Glass (The Harbinger #1) by Jeff Wheeler

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

I have noticed that several of Rick Riordan’s first books in the series are available on KU, which has saved me from having to dig them out of closets during rereads. This one is available with audio, though I will say that doing a reread with the audio kind of threw me because I already had imagined how Sadie and Carter would sound and that wasn’t it. Great to keep on standby though for a first time or reread.

Under Different Stars (The Kricket Series #1) by Amy A. Bartol

This whole series is available via KU with audio and is also narrated by Kate Rudd! Loved this series!


These books I just couldn’t get into due to the audio.. once I started reading it physically things picked up a lot in all of them.

The King of Bones and Ashes (Witches of New Orleans #1) by J.D. Horn

The audio on this was so hard for me to follow, the book itself is a hard to follow book and a little spacey here and there so it was no surprise really the audio was impossible for me.

The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician #1) by Charlie N Holmberg

The audio on this book rubbed me so wrong that after about 10 pages I had to quit and read it myself. For some reason the narrator portrayed the FMC as the snottiest, brattiest person and I had such an intense dislike for her I almost DNF’d the book. I started it all over after a day or so and it was much better and a pretty interesting read.

Ink Mage (A Fire Beneath the Skin #1) by Victor Gischler

I’m not sure what the problem was here but the audio just kept loosing me and over and over I had to go back and reread parts because I totally spaced them. Sometimes a narrator just reads so slowly that my ADD kicks in and I just get lost. I think that was the problem here and on Kindle you can’t speed up the narration.

Here are just a few of my Hit or Misses from KU audio’s. For these reviews and others click here.

Book Stop – Why Choose Valentine, rating: R of course!

Next year during February I will definitely put on my calendar to devote the month to the reverse harem revolution lol. I wish I had thought of it sooner. As we close in towards Valentine’s day I see myself leaning way more towards the romance section of my TBR and find myself rereading past loves.

Crimes of Cupidity by Raven Kennedy

Crimes of Cupidity: A Fantasy Reverse Harem Story by Raven Kennedy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Published: January 31, 2019

Series: Heart Hassle #3

Genre: RH, Romance, Fantasy

“Now, pull on your big girl panties and ovary-it up. We’re mates, and we have a war to win.” 

Coffee Mug Material!

Ridiculousness to the max! Our favorite cupid Emelle’s mess continues as she desperately tries to grab herself a tiny piece..ahem of happily ever after of course, and the cure for all that ails her is a little vitamin “D”! It is amazing to me how Raven Kennedy keeps the raunchy humor going full force and still keeps a captivating story moving along in its madness! I’m pretty sure she is my idle! I am also pretty sure that I have highlighted a million one liners from this book to put on coffee mugs to brighten my day! I want to say I’m too mature to laugh at the ridiculousness but I’d be lying.. I’m pretty sure at one point I had coffee spew from my nose.. I may now have a sinus infection…

“Emelle’d,” Evert explains. “It’s when someone gets struck silent from the crazy ass words that come out of your mouth.”

Emelle finds herself sucked back to cupidville to face the consequences of her lack of cupid skills but in a twist she winds up being “boss bitch.” “Whoops.” Even still, the cooperate life isn’t for her so back to the fae world to find her yummy mates, but something is wrong. She has been gone longer than expected and their whole plan has been ruined. The princess is captured, the evil Prince is gaining ground, and Okot… our precious “beloved” doesn’t even recognize us other than as the enemy… Not to mention Ronark has gone feral and seems to need to be house broken. I just couldn’t even with this! I was dying…. Even the “Horney Hooker” isn’t safe from the love arrows in this book. Luckily he just might get his “shot” in the next series..

I watch as Ronak gyrates his hips a bit, and I narrow my eyes. Is he…? Yep. He’s drawing a dick on the carpet with his urine. A piss dick pic. It’s actually kind of impressive.

Once again a thoroughly entertaining read with the randomness continuing and the quest for love never ending!
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Dirty Alphas by Alexa B. James and Angelina Avery

Dirty Alphas: A Reverse Harem Urban Fantasy Romance by Alexa B. James and Angelina Avery

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Publisher: Indep Published

Published: December 14, 2018

Genre: RH, Fantasy, Paranormal

Whaaaaattttt! 3.5ish almost just rounded it up… l have to be legit honest, I accidentally downloaded this of KU.. like it was for real an accident and I went immediately to correct my mistake and find something to download in its place when I started to feel guilty for not giving it a chance. Let me first say, I’m not a fan of the cover, to me, it looks a tad on the cheesy side. Reverse harems are hit or miss with me. I find it amazing that author’s even attempt them, I mean it must be difficult to create chemistry between 2 characters let alone between 2+ characters and give them all some sort of dynamic all the while trying to make a story take place. There in lies the problem for most RHN I give a try.. the story gets lost in a bunch of eye rolling smut.. most of the time. Also, I find it hard to believe that a woman would want to take on more than one dude.. permanently lol. I mean realistically…that’s all the more dishes, laundry everywhere, shavings in the sink…. but its fantasy.. so I roll with it lol.

This book was surprisingly good, I did feel like there was quite a few plot holes, and some confusion on the world building that kept me from absolutely loving it but the story was prominent not the smut which is hands down a winner for me in the RH genre. So the blurb itself gave us more backstory and world building than the actual story did.. I almost felt like this was a sequel or a spin off or something, and it also didn’t feel like the story was over though this episode concluded pretty nicely. The book also started us off in a really confusing situation with no preparation and it didn’t go on to explain said situation till much later in the book.

Scarlet our FMC, starts of seemingly kidnapped by a madman, Jacob Knight, not only is he a madman but he is the alpha of her wolf shifter pack. He wants to force her and her wolf to submit to him after forcing her into marriage all the while holding her family hostage. During their tussle Scarlet is gravely injured and though as a human she works out a deal that in exchange for her family’s freedom, her wolf refuses to submit and rips out his throat. Her father runs in seeing what has happened and that pack alpha has transferred to Scarlet, but they know they are in trouble because it wasn’t won legally through challenge. There was no in depth preparation or backstory explaining the laws governing the shifters and magical creatures.. which was a little confusing. So Dad and Scarlet hide it and Dad poses as Alpha so Scarlet can have a normal life, all the while Scarlet must keep her wolf hidden so no one notices it is an alpha… Until a year later when Scarlet must return to the pack because Dad can no longer keep up the pretense with Scarlet so far away.. The governing “council” for the wolves have already sent 3 alphas of their own to take the pack away to keep it strongly out of Fae grasp, 3 other Knight brothers, who instantly have a connection with Scarlet despite her non dominant status in the pact.. of course Scarlet already is in deep with the Fae her best friend being a Fae prince.. The 3 Knight brothers aren’t the only ones skulking around however, someone else is out to get Scarlet, someone very dangerous…

It was a pretty enjoyable read for me and I flew through the book really despite all the holes. I dodged them pretty well and just kept on going. I am left wondering about all the possibilities… kind of wish there was more to answer all my questions.
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Gypsy Freak by Kristy Cunning

Gypsy Freak by Kristy Cunning

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Publisher: Indep.

Published: January 4, 2019

Series: All The Pretty Monsters #2

Genre: RH, Paranormal, Fantasy

2.5 stars.. rounded up… grudgingly. I was super excited to get in to this book after enjoying the first one so much.. Unfortunately if it wasn’t for the last 25% of this book I would have given up on this series completely! For at least the first 35% it was written so random, and with absolutely no cohesion what so ever that I was constantly going back to reread things just because I couldn’t even figure out whose viewpoint I was in.. I was so lost. Not only all that, but Anna… wtf. Your going to go and take my most favorite sister from another mister out of this story… I don’t even know… Finally after 75% of the book the author finally starts making sense.. and it wasn’t like things just came to light that made the whole book make sense, it was like the writing started actually making a cohesive picture and I was finally able to get into the story. Book 2 was just a train wreck until 75%.. in fact if I were to do it over again, I might just read book 1, the last 25% of book 2 and then jump right into book 3 because I don’t even think the reader would actually miss anything doing it this way..

So at 75% all the bickering, and long winded explanations that don’t actually explain anything, as well as all the vague posturing, and petty disputes over Violet, and mind games that play at being clever but are actually just quite annoying stop.. for the most part, and we really start getting some answers. After fighting between the wolves and vampires because of Arion coming out early escalate, and groups of wolves are found dead, Violet finds herself caught in the middle. Emit is then captured and as the perpetrators come forward and reveal their plans.. Violet demonstrates her ..”resilience” as well as why she should never, ever, panic.

I’m really hoping book 3 starts out where book 2 leaves off and we don’t have to go through this mess again and we can really get some answers. Crossing my fingers..

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Gypsy Origins by Kristy Cunning

Gypsy Origins by Kristy Cunning

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Publisher: Indep

Published: January 25, 2019

Series: All The Pretty Monsters #3

Genre: RH, Fantasy, Paranormal

Ok, so this book was in fact much, much better than book 2, however, I feel like now we have entered into one of those stories where random things are thrown in to cover up the plot holes, and now the story is just kind of way out there and seems like it is going to go on for freaking ever…. Yea its a travesty because I really felt like we were working with something great but it is now kind of all over the place for me, and Anna is still gone…. In all actuality, even though now we know a lot more about the situation, it took basically the whole book while we watched each characters individual reactions to the information.. and of course the bickering continues. *eye roll. I can’t help but feel like we are getting tiny snippets of story and a whole lot of useless filler… Progressing at a slow roll most of the time.

The other problem for me, is unfortunately Violet just really isn’t the most like able character. She is just meh for me, so the dragging it out is not helping, and its like the author is trying to force some humor or something on her and it is just awkward. I don’t know the pieces just aren’t fitting together very well and its like they just decided to hammer them in and roll with it.

So…. in short.. there were a couple of reveals.. that took the entire book to finally make it around to everyone… Violet has decided the to bring back the witch.. and then bam cliffhanger and a supposed threat from someone who is supposed to be dead? At least that is where I’m at.

In truth it was better than book 2, in that it at least made some kind of sense, but I’m not about this dragging stuff out forever. I like to feel like we got somewhere after reading like 400 pages.. just saying. I don’t know whether to be on the lookout for book 4 or not.. might wait till books 5-10 come out just in case I need to skip a few to get to the end *wink.
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Book Stop – Rainy Day Binge

I’m not sure if everyone has this problem but I seem to be able to read way faster than I can review. Truthfully, I try to write detailed reviews and sometimes by the end of a reading binge the reviews start either looking the same or go off on a tired giggle rant… What are some secrets that you more experienced bloggers use to keep yourself focused and keep up with the ever growing pile of read books that still need stars beside them?

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Vicious (Villains, #1)

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publisher: Tor Books

Published: September 24, 2013

Series: Villains #1

I’m not sure I have ever read anything like this. This book was both creepy with a sociopathic/psycho vibe.. and at the same time super engaging and all consuming. I feel like the Impassive voice of the writer made it all the more compelling. There were no good guys…. just a groups of antagonists in an all out brawl being pushed by some fanatic type notions driving them onward.. I found myself spending the entire book trying to justify and make excuses for one character or another in a desperate attempt to make a “good guy” out of at least one of them. The back and forth jumping through time answering questions almost as soon as I thought to ask them and revealing the plot in an almost genius way. I felt like for most of the story like I was running through a never ending hallway each door on the side revealing new things, new characters, new powers and at the same time I was striving to get to the present to find out the ending. An odd concept in itself striving to get to the now to find out the end…

Victor and Eli, the ultimate frenemies, start their journey in college 10 years ago with 2 thesis ideas which correlate. Victor wanting to study the effects of adrenaline and fight/flight type mechanisms and Eli wanting to study EOs or “Extra Ordinarys”, people with unexplained abilities caused by certain experiences.. Teaming up they discover a tried and true formula after some trial and error.. costly error.. and at the same time lose something intrinsic to human nature. Years later, after some ultimate betrayals by both Victor and Eli their battle comes to a head in a game where there are no heroes.. only villains. In all realness this is one of the hardest plots to describe without giving some stuff away.

I am not sure that I ever really liked any of the characters, but I think that was one of the points lol.
I can’t wait to start the next book if only for the fact that I want to see what other EO “super powers” are out there. Great, entertaining and nerve shredding read!
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The Falconer by Elizabeth May

The Falconer (The Falconer, #1)

The Falconer by Elizabeth May

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Published: September 19, 2013

Series: The Falconer #1

This was a decent start to the series.. I would say its probably more of a 3.5 star but not a 4 for me. There are multiple things this first book has going for it. The story is both original and captivating. It has a steampunk flare that really went well with the whole fantasy fae magic. The characters seemed well rounded and at the same time maintaining a huge air of mystery and the chemistry between our FMC, Aileana Kameron, aka Kam and her “trainer” Kieran was off the charts…. /face fanning. I will say that I did think our FMC a tad on the selfish/immature side, she was also very impulsive diving into situations without thinking, luckily she was bad A enough to dig her way out.

Aileana Kameron lives for vengeance. Since the moment she saw her mother brutally murdered by a fae she has wanted nothing but revenge. Found standing over her mothers dead body covered in blood by her father, her life hasn’t been the same. The whispers of murderer follow her everywhere and her father has almost written her off since. Now years later she has owned her title.. but not in the way the whisperers think. Kam with her ability to sense the fae, hunts them down all the while searching for her mothers murderer. Kieran her mysterious fae trainer has taught her how to survive.. but now she is venturing out on her own.. not knowing the danger she faces. Secrets come to light about Kam’s bloodline.. as the monsters turn the hunt on her. Now she is tasked with righting some wrongs and saving her city… but doing that may put her vengeance out of reach and loose her the friends she has made along the way.

I would say that what really kept me from loving this book was the infuriatingly vague plot reveals… clawing answers out a tiny bit at a time and right when I think I have a grasp of where we are headed.. the cliffhanger made me question everything I knew.. I about threw the book across the room.. ok so I didn’t really, but I imagined it for a minute. So, now not only do I have no idea where to stand.. I’m not even left standing I’m left hanging off said cliff not knowing whether to climb up and out or fall into the abyss…
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Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett

Even the Darkest Stars (Even the Darkest Stars, #1)

Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publisher: HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray

Published: September 5th 2017

Series: Even the Darkest Stars #1

I have got to say I thought this was a really good start to the series. In fact I was hooked from the first sentence.. though in all honesty, the first sentence really had nothing to do with the rest of the book lol. Just mention some dragon eggs and apparently that’s all it takes for me. I really felt this book was super easy to sink into and I really felt the world building was pretty fantastic. I had no trouble picturing the scenes even having never read anything like this before. The characters for the most part were well rounded to me, seemed pretty relate able, and also seemed to compliment each other pretty well, balancing each other out. One thing I noticed, that threw me, was that events from the past, like centuries ago in the past, seemed sooo.. present? Events from centuries ago are kind of meshed in with events from a decade ago, and eventually it started to run together so much to where I couldn’t give you an honest straight timeline I don’t think. Either way everything seems to be remembered so vividly, like it just happened.. and yet there are legends of this sky city and a lost artifact that no one really knows about… Not sure if anyone else has felt this way but in reality it didn’t actually effect the events of the story, it just threw me here and there….

Kamzin, our FMC, has dreamed of following in her explorer mother’s footsteps since her sister and her followed her mother on her last adventure..across the deadly mountain Raksha. Now why a mother would take her 2 young children around/accross this mountain…. who knows, but after that failed attempt Kamzin and Lusha lost their mother and now they are the last 2 remaining people that know the way up to the mountain. Kamzin has always lived in her mother and brilliant sister Lusha’s shadow and longs for a time when she comes out the winner, the first picked, the most skilled. Famous Explorer River Shara shows up in Kamzin’s village to start of his next adventure and lo and behold he needs a guide for Raksha.. of course he would pick Lusha… Oddly enough Lusha studying the stars to become a seer has some stuff of her own she is trying to figure out and takes off before the journey leaving only Kamzin to lead River. Kamzin must her self esteem issues, her intense desire to prove herself, and her hero worship of River to lead them up the deadly Raksha, finding out some truths that can’t be forgotten and discovering the dangers lurking in her world are much closer than they seemed.

I will say that though the story was pretty captivating, there were lots of times where the plot did seem to move slowly though I really thought the last 15% or so of the book with all the plot twists, betrayals and discoveries made up for it. I’m super excited to continue the story because… I just have to know what is going to happen now… and I’m not at all sure I agree with decisions that have been made…
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Book Stop – ARC: Behesians by Isaiyan Morrison

Behesians by Isaiyan Morrison

Publisher: Self: Isaiyan Morrison

Published: December 6, 2018

Series: ??

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal

Behesians by Isaiyan Morrison

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a hard book to rate. I’m thinking 2.5 stars though I feel like there were certain aspects that I would have rated a 3 so I am going to round it up. There were multiple aspects about the story that I liked. I felt that the whole concept was fresh and had a pretty unique origination explanation but it really lacked some details to make it cohesive. This has the appearance of a standalone novel but this is far from over and must be a book in a series.. and if I’m honest this read like a continuation or spin off of a series. I could not seem to shake the feeling that I fell right off in the middle of some on going story where the details and the world building itself happened long ago. I will say that there was enough information for a reader to make some generalizations or guesses to fill in the blanks so to speak…well most of them I think. What world building and backstory we did get here seemed a little repetitive and the same information was thrown at us again and again but never expanded to answer my questions. The characters told the story of how Vain ended over, and over, and over but we never really found out the entire why? or what was trying to be accomplished, and honestly there was no definitive on the who was responsible, it never honestly came out. I also had issue with several of the concepts of the Behesians having the same problem.. though the book talks about Bridging repeatedly.. and I gathered from the reading its like “mating”.. maybe? The concept was never explained in detail, nor did it seem surprising that Cassidy was bridging with multiple people?

Character wise I felt a disconnect with every character because I didn’t feel like we ever got enough details about any of their stories, or at least enough details for me to really bond with them. This may have to do with the overwhelming amount of character viewpoints. For example the story never went into detail about Darrien, one of our Male MC’s what his and Milan’s, another Male MC story seemed to be because it seemed they were friends at one point, nor why Darrien thinks he can never bridge with someone. The truth is I wasn’t a fan of any of the characters looking back.. Ava especially.. Omg that girl went on and on and on with her anger and grudges, hate, and total selfishness. I couldn’t stand her at all. Cassidy, our FMC, was naive, whiny and kind of pathetic, and we honestly didn’t even stay in her viewpoint long enough for me to have any sort of grasp on her personality, her wants in life, her dreams.. did she even have friends? hobbies? What even is her last name? Same as her father’s maybe? who really knows. This was a little disheartening for me as the reader because in this world that I’m unfamiliar with I can’t even seem to put my faith in our supposed heroine to lead me through.

The book kicks off after the short prologue with Cassidy on her birthday, after about 5 mins in her head I was already not a fan. She seemed like the really moody, depressed, antisocial, unappreciative teenager. Not really someone I could even say I would want to be friends with irl. Cassidy hates her birthday and runs through the whole drama mama cycle as her “family” tries all day to seemingly make this a great day for her.. I don’t think the book ever says why she hates her birthday, but I assumed its because she believes her mother died while giving birth to her.. but that could be wrong. This is one of the examples of the little holes the reader must figure out or make assumptions for themselves about. Another thing that kind of threw me, is at one point at the very beginning of the story Sara is referred to as her “stepsister” and later is referred to as her “half sister” but neither is ever explained like where Sara’s mom is etc, no info is given. While out and about on her birthday Cassidy and her “sister” run into Elijah and Darrien who seem to have some beef with each other and noone really finds it weird that Elijah’s coffee cup catches on fire during the altercation. Later Elijah shows up at Cassidy’s house with a completely unbelievable story casting everything in Cassidy’s life under scrutiny and basically telling her she is living a lie. From this point starts our adventure which mostly consists of a bunch of bickering and fighting and very little actual explanations on what in the world is going on and what anyone’s end goal is. Eventually we are left on the run, with really no more explanation that we began and a bunch of characters who’s in all honesty decisions make little or no sense to me.

All in all I never got close to DNFing this book, it made enough sense to keep me going and the concept was interesting enough for me to really want answers but it just lacked cohesiveness, a backstory I could understand and get behind, as well as at least one character that I really could bond with and get to know. These all may come later.. who knows as I am not quite sure if this is supposed to be a series or not.

* I received an advance copy of this book through BookSirens via the author in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.*

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