Book Stop -ARC Review – Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Publisher: Harlequin Teen (US and Canada) Inkyard Press

Expected Publish Date: June 11th 2019

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I requested and received an ARC of this via NetGalley and the publisher Harlequin Teen and Inkyard Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much for allowing me to read and review this author’s work!

4.5 Stars rounded up to 5!! I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Throw in the action, intrigue, character chemistry and intensity, and intermittent humor with a Bad A sarcastic FMC and you have an equation for success! I am a huge sucker for the strong FMC, and no matter how many times I read stories with one, they get me every time! Full disclosure I am a Jennifer L. Armentrout fan. I did read the blurb, however, I was not expecting this to be a spin off series. I think that is why I had to dial back the star power a little. My OCD kicks in when I feel like I’m being dropped in the middle of a story and the already developed relationships portrayed in the book as well as the hints of past adventures put my radar up which made me have to pause and go digging for the root series. So.. heads up this is a spin off to all you out there looking to pick up your newest series addiction, but you may want to start at the beginning or you’ll wind up back paddling in the same boat as me lol.

Trinity, our FMC, lives in a community of gargoyle shifters called Wardens, but she herself is not one. She comes across human but she has a secret.. of BAD A proportions. Training most of her life with her sworn guardian protector, she knows she is a weapon but she must also stay hidden for everything hunts her kind, and she is one of the last. Of course, the staying hidden and protected part of the deal, that’s not really her jam. She senses the rise in demon activity. It is the gargoyles duty to police the demons and they just aren’t working fast enough for her tastes… especially once her bonded guardian is kidnapped. Teaming up with Zayne, the annoying and handsome Warden from another clan who might have some secret shady contacts seems to be her best bet to bring back her bonded brother. Trinity discovers pretty quickly the black and white world she grew up in has way more shades of gray than come in the crayon box. She must now decide what side she is playing for because of course there are always sides.. and whether or not she can live with the side she picks. She must also come to grips with the fact that those she loves may be on a different side of this war that seems to be brewing…

Love love Trinity! A tiny bit word vomit, with all the sarcasm, and the skills to back up the trash talk. I’ve been holding out in 2019 on picking my new FMC girl crush but shes definitely going on my list. I can’t wait to see more of this series!
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Book Stop – A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
January 29th 2019

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance

Series: A Curse So Dark and Lonely #1

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I did not read the blurb before reading this book. I just saw a lot of hype and jumped right in, so for me it was exciting when I discovered it was a retelling if Beauty and the Beast. I really like how the author made the retelling both obvious and original at the same time, reinventing many of the concepts but keeping the main points recognizable! It was good! Indeed it was!

Our FMC Harper, is kidnapped during a botched rescue attempt in which she was trying to prevent the mapper from grabbing a different woman. Once grabbed she is “whisked” away to a world of impossibilities. I will say that the “denial” phase was starting to get a little old, but the author did finally move on. Super hostile to her kidnappers, she isn’t taking any crap from any one. Rhen our MMC lives a cursed season, over and over again until his beast form overcomes him. He has long since given up hope that someone could fall in “real” love with him…and this may be his last chance. Thrown together Rhen and Harper decide to team up for a cause greater than Rhen’s curse, the saving of his kingdom that has long been neglected due to his beasts actions. An invader has begun conquering and terrorizing the people and Harper isn’t having it. I think that the most mind blowing thought that has stuck with me in this story is how the author has Harper point out to the beast that yes he has had all these attempts to make all these women fall in love with him.. but at which point was he ever willing to fall in love back? Never.. so he hadn’t ever really changed because once again he was just trying to get what he needed and not give love in return! 🤯. Never looked at it from that exact perspective before. I mean it was obvious that even in the Disney version the beast falls in love with the girl but it never occurred to me that in this version the reason no one had fallen for him is that he wasn’t willing to give of himself and in essence hadn’t learned his lesson…

In this story the FMC has a really mild form of Cerebral Palsy. The author did not elaborate on this illness and barely even called any attention to it. I’m not sure if I loved that fact or if I was irritated by it. Cerebral Palsy has such a wide range of symptoms varying in severity. Without more details on the actual character’s symptoms we can’t even form an accurate opinion on how it effected her during all her trials which bummed me because I feel like it lessened her greatness and at the same time it was almost like the author was intentionally not trying to call attention to her illness so that no preconceived notions could be formed, and Harper couldn’t be pigeon holed into greatness “because” she overcame an illness. The book portrays Harper as great because she is just a Bad A FMC, not because she had to overcome her trials *and* a disability. I understand that. Either way this had no real effect on my enjoyment of the story, I just personally would have liked to know more about our character’s CP.

I loved the retelling and am definitely intrigued on what direction the next book will take!

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Book Stop – ARC Review – The Warrior by Sarah Fine

The Warrior by Sarah Fine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publisher: 47 North

Expected Publication: March 26, 2019

Series: The Immortal Dealers #3

Genre: Fantasy

Requested and received an ARC of this via NetGalley and the Publisher 47 North in exchange for an honest review

3.5 Stars rounded up to 4. I rounded up because as a whole the series was pretty good. I think with this series I have had a little expectation versus reality come to Jesus. What kept me from full out 4ing the book rather than just rounding up, was the fact that in every book since the epicness of book one, I have been pulling for Ernie to become a real Bad A. Have you ever just really wanted something for someone so badly, only to be disappointed when they don’t live up to the expectations you have set for them? Is it really their fault? Honestly, I have wanted it so bad for her that every time it doesn’t happen I think I loose a little of myself.. Though in this book of the series, Ernie does represent a little better, I find that once again my expectations and desire to see her not only succeed but mop some floor with people were dashed. Even with all the events of the book lining up perfectly, I mean its like she got bit by the dang radioactive spider…. I find that as a whole I was underwhelmed by her again. The story itself is so great and so original. I still get Yu-Gi-oH flashbacks a little.

This 3rd book in the series here picks up right about where book 2 left off. Ernie and her not so allied “allies” are now dealing with their new forager who seems to have some pretty benevolent plans for each of the dealers. That is until they realize this new forager just specializes in manipulation and each of the dealers are just a playing piece in her game of death, destruction, and power. As Ernie once again begs and pleads for everyone to work together, because lets face it ya’ll she just doesn’t quite cut the mustard by herself, she gets the cold shoulder left and right because of the disasters of book 2. Finding the sunrise relic, like the last forager warned her to do, Ernie unlocks a whole new mess upon herself and her friends. A mess of powers left over from a previous forager. Needing her help to explain what is happening to her and her friends they turn toward this remnant of an forager, Phoebe, for help. Phoebe, seems to be the answer to their prayers, benevolent, kind, helpful… but her long game may just put all the dealers in an even worse mess and its up to Ernie and her friends to actually team up for a change to make a difference in the way things are done!

I feel like my review is coming off a little Ernie hater-aideish.. that’s not the case, I like Ernie.. I just wanted more from her and find that she just never quite lived up to my expectations of her. I’m now left wondering what is in store for this group! Surely we aren’t at the end of the story.. maybe just the end of this leg in the journey? I would love to see more from this world with its interesting magic concepts. Maybe pit our dealers against some new enemy? Either way I’ll definitely keep an eye out for more from this author in the future!
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Book Stop: ARC Review – A Game of Survival by T.R. Tells

A Game of Survival by T.R. Tells

Publisher: Self

Published: December 12th 2018

Genre: Fantasy

Series: A Game of Survival #1

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I joined an ARC review team for this book via Book Sirens in exchange for an honest review.

Triggers: Rape and Abuse of children and young adults.

I’m going to say 2-2.5 for this story. I really felt like the story started off really strong with a really dramatic entrance, but as the story progressed it as almost like there were too many ideas trying to converge into the story all at once and it became confusing, non cohesive at times, and honestly it felt like maybe the author didn’t know where the story was going until it got there. I also feel like the blurb was misleading and nothing like what story really turned into. The blurb gave me a “Children of Blood and Bone” feel but this is nothing like that.

We start out with our FMC seemingly being a magi, in a world where magi are being persecuted, but then we find out she is roma and we touch on what that means here and there but its never really explained and woven into the story cohesively. Apparently they aren’t the same thing. I also felt like there were many times throughout the story that the dialogue and plot line seemed to really drag on and even drift away from any end game or goals. There were several times when I had to make myself go back and figure out how we had gotten a certain place.

Thea our FMC kicks off our story pretty roughly, her sister telling her to be a boy as she is dragged off by the kings guards rounded up like all other magi. Her last words telling her to survive.. So she does, barely, doing some really awful things. Her rage causes her to weaken to allow demons to inhabit her. She ends up with a group of child thieves living basically on the streets stealing to survive. She is constantly getting caught. The inner demons/conscience talking to her trying to make her choose bad or good or just arguing with themselves in her head made scenes confusing at times. Eventually just as things are looking up they take a nose dive straight to hell as their rag tag group are found and basically used as sex slaves and thieves. The book skips forward between parts and Thea has even more people to look after as well as a lead to her sister. In all honesty, we start off headed in the direction of revenge but never get there and in the end it seems like we are going to be in the midst of a battle of the gods.

Usually I’m a huge sucker for some mythology, but the Norse mythology and how it was woven into this particular story with the “Roma” which was described more like gypsies those are from a whole different set of mythology “Romani” and the concepts sort of clashed for me. Then there was also the whole “demon” concept which comes from a whole different set of ideals. There were several concepts that I did like in the story, however, one being the whole conscience ideals. The story really seemed to take a lot from the Native American proverb of the 2 wolves existing in each man, one being good the other evil and the one you feed is the one that wins.

Really the mashup made for a really confusing read and it was hard to just grasp what the main plot of the story was until the very end. I kept trying to grasp one idea and hold on for dear life but this book was not having it. The frustration of trying to remain focused on the book made it just ok for me.
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Book Stop – Kindle Unlimited Binge Cont. – The Ugly(ish)

It never fails that eventually we aren’t going to like a book. I wonder, at times, how authors deal with just plain ole meh reviews, not the raving types but the 2 star reviews? How many authors really take into consideration what those people say for their next books? I like to be honest about how I feel about books with the intention not to hurt anyone’s feelings but to throw out my own feelings and maybe help an author or reader in the future. Full disclosure, I’ve been reading some things that are not necessarily popping up on my recommended for a Goodreads description challenge so that may be why I’m running train through some not so enjoyable reads. That being said I’ve come across a couple books this past week that just weren’t for me. They have some good reviews, so evidently they are for someone but apparently my door swings a different way.

The Deadly Game by G. Bailey and Coralee June

The Deadly Game by G. Bailey and Coralee June

Published: October 31st 2018

Genre: RH, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


If this wasn’t one of the shortest books I’ve ever read then I might have DNf’d it. What is sad is that the book has one of the more interesting premises but was so insanely rushed that it couldn’t have even begun to be developed. It was a skeleton of what it could be.. which oddly seems a little fitting with the cover. Either way I felt we were left with the bones of what could have been something great. For those of you new to G. Bailey’s work.. this is not the norm, though she writes fast paced books often its not usually this fast paced. There is no world building, we are just thrown in here willy nilly, sink or swim. There isn’t really any backstory other than thrown in tidbits to try and fill some holes here and there. There was no time for character development or even for the story to fully develop into anything, however, smut… there was plenty of that, and sappy insta love with no real adversity.

Thrown into the middle of this game.. with no real backstory of how the game actually started.. apparently humans are captured and forced to participate for witches who want to have a few minutes contact with the dead. This game can be deadly and requires great sacrifice on the human’s behalf… Mila our FMC is saved from one group of witches only to be used by another, one of which happens to be some random guy she went to grade school with.. who she doesn’t even remember.. even though hes apparently her soul mate… The Hex coven, 3 brothers, decide to use Mila to win the games in order to summon their brother to identify his killer so they can get revenge. A super rushed tiny adventure with lots of smut and no real depth ensues..4

Luckily it is a fast read.. so .. there is that.. This is also a standalone so what you see is what you get. If your looking for some explanations then your looking for too much…

This review came off a little harsh.. but in no way did it color my feelings for these authors. I read a lot of G. Baileys books when I come across them on my KU recommended feed so I’m not quite sure what happened here but doesn’t effect whether I’ll pick up her next book!
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Silk and Steel by Ariana Nash and Pippa DaCosta

Silk & Steel by Ariana Nash and Pippa DaCosta

Publisher: Crazy Ace Publishing

Published: January 18th 2019

Series: Silk and Steel #1

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was not prepared for this, I didn’t read the blurb before starting this book, that was my bad. About 10% in, I had to take a breather and go back and read it. I have to be honest though, the blurb is a tad misleading. It gives the idea that there is some story here, but I could barely find it amidst the smut. The whole book had some Anne Rice “Sleeping Beauty” vibes, but with way less consensualness… pretty sure that is not a word but I’m just going to roll with it. I was also very unprepared for the venom with which the certain races viewed our male characters and their sexual preferences. Maybe the author was trying to draw attention to it, like calling attention to it in real life? I don’t know it just didn’t set well with me, and it was never resolved which made me even further uncomfortable. The blurb is the backstory and the world building here. Once you start your thrown in..

Our main characters are Lysander – prince of dragons, chained by his roll in the amethyst dragon society, and constantly belittled and insulted by his oh so very evil and messed up mother the queen, for being “broken” because he is only attracted to guys. Eroan, elf assassin of the order, come to murder the queen but is stopped by Lysander and ends up becoming a prisoner and tortured mercilessly at the queens whim. The queen uses Eroan to get Lysander to be more cooperative in her schemes to use him, basically as a brood mare, that is up until she pushes Lysander too far and he snaps. This causes chaos in the amethyst kingdom as well as allowing Eroan to escape with secrets to defeat the dragons.. Lysander must flee to a different dragon kingdom or face the wrath of his people, but turns out its just as bad.. Eroan journeys to make alliances to bring down all of dragon kind and end the age of dragons..

Truth be told here there just wasn’t really, hardly any story.. The characters were never truly developed enough for me to actually become involved with them.. I’m not even sure I ever really felt “sorry” for them.. which is kind of frightening considering what they go through.. some of it is pretty horrific. There was just a lot of smut, and anger, and shame, and it was just kind of sad I think. I did discover after reading it that there is a preceding Novella that might have a little more info in it to start a reader off. So if your interesting in reading this you might look for that first.
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Heart of the Goblin King by Lisa Manifold

Heart Of The Goblin King by Lisa Manifold

Publisher: OTI Press

Published: June 15th 2016

Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance

Series: Realm #1

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


1.5ish rounded up to 2. I am not even sure where to start this.. Ok, for this entire book it was like an outline was laid out with certain plot points the author wanted to hit. These plot points in themselves weren’t a problem whatsoever, and would probably have made a decent story, if not for the stuff between them. The “journey” or “meat” of the story for instance: the dialogue, backstory, world building, character depth, DETAILS… These things get you from one plot point to the next, tiny little details that push you in the direction you need to go to reach the next point. I felt like these were all almost afterthoughts.. Where the author suddenly realized that her story wasn’t where it needed to be to hit the next point so she just threw something in to hurry it on its way.. It was quite jarring, incredibly convenient, horribly obvious and kind of sloppy.

Lets start out with our FMC Iris. Iris is apparently college age, however acts like a spoiled 10? year old. So much so that she actually throws a tantrum, in the story. For realz. That’s about it on that front. Brennan honestly we don’t really see much of him unless he is in the middle of a temper tantrum as well.. and then mostly he storms off. I feel like these characters had absolutely no chemistry nor were there any interactions to convey to the reader that these characters had any feelings for each other, other than some vague referencing and denials.. I really believe that in the author’s mind the chemistry was there but it just never made it to the page, so the reader was like ummm what?

The “mystery” of the story, who is attacking Brennan.. was very poorly executed. The attacks happen, no one finds any real clues, the dragon kingdom may or may not have something to do with it BAM the culprit identifies himself via note in an area of the castle having nothing to do with anyone or the story, nor is there ever even a real motive given… The most anticlimactic ending after a very poorly done reveal.

During all this above.. we have characters whose dialogues all seem a little forced being pushed in the direction of the next plot point. Almost like they are just filling space on the page not really saying anything significant and then all of a sudden saying one thing to push us on to the next scene. It wasn’t hard to get through, it just seemed a little juvenile.. maybe? The book itself was super short and not hard… at all to follow. It just wasn’t…. yea it just wasn’t for me I guess. That is all…
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Well there you have it. A couple books that just weren’t my jam and why. When I wrote these reviews I wasn’t ranting and raving or anything though I can go there just like everyone else. I will say that I buddy read all of these with a friend and she had different opinions than me on one of the books. It just goes to show you that just because I might have a negative opinion or something caught and rubbed me wrong doesn’t mean it will everyone else! So if you decide to grab these off KU, Happy Reading and feel free to let me know what you think maybe it will open me up to a new experience!

Book Stop – Kindle Unlimited Binge Review Week – The Goods

I’ve been on a binge through Kindle Unlimited these last couple of weeks and I’m finding that it is really hit or miss most of the time. I’ve noticed KU getting some new stuff lately and I’ve definitely found some diamonds in the rough. Here are a couple of the really good ones!

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Publisher: Harper Collins

Published: November 15th 2011

Series: Shatter Me #1

Genre: YA, Romance, Fantasy, Scifi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Whew, this book was a pretty intense start to the series! I was engrossed from the very beginning. I think the writing style was so impactful and dramatic, it was almost impossible to turn my gaze away! We do have a very slow revealing backstory but answers are coming so I never felt cheated or too terribly lost, but I am an impatient person.. I did feel that super young teeny angst, but it really didn’t bother me in this book like it does in others. I just feel like so much is going on, its hard to know where everyone stands especially when we don’t yet have all the information. I did like how the FMC, Juliette stayed true to her character throughout, there was no meekness to Bad A right off the bad. She didn’t turn vengeful or harden herself despite all of what is being done to her.

Set in an apocalyptic/dystopian type setting our FMC, Juliette has been imprisoned in a mental institute for a really long time now. Thrown in for being “different,” her touch being her very own kryptonite. Days fade into weeks into months and so on, until one day her routine is changed forever when they throw in a roommate, a boy, Adam. She remembers Adam, from before her imprisonment. Just as she starts to grow closer to Adam, she is taken from her prison cell, to be used by a monster who wants her ability, her touch. It turns out Adam has his own secrets, surprisingly Adam is also maybe the only person immune to her ability. Danger lurks everywhere as her captor becomes increasingly erratic and obsessive where she is concerned. Together her and Adam attempt to escape… but where is there to go where they cannot be found? Is there hope for a better life out there? What has the world become while she has been locked away with her tiny window.

I honestly wanted to dive right into book 2. I can’t wait to see where this series is headed! Now I feel like the real story is about to begin and I hope we continue to get some backstory and answers along the way!
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Verity by Colleen Hoover

Verity by Colleen Hoover

Publisher: Hoover Ink, Inc

Published: December 7th 2018

Genre: Romance, Thriller, Mystery, Contemporary

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This book kind of blew me away! Twisted and creeptastic ride into imagined self absorption and sociopathy. I was expecting romance.. I was not expecting this gut wrenching, horror/suspense and the bone chilling confessions revealed in this book. I was so intrigued and at the same time disturbed and horrified out I just couldn’t stop reading, all the while peeking through fingers because I didn’t want to see anymore. I felt such a wide range of emotions so quickly I was catching some whiplash from my own mood swings. Afterwards I felt rode hard and put up wet.. and well basically speechless lol, sitting there in my shock.

Introvert writer and FMC, Lowen, is recovering from her mother’s death when on her first day out she witness a gruesome pedestrian vs car accident. Helped by a handsome stranger they speak and have a heart wrenching moment where they each confess their tragedy’s, his being the loss of his daughter, before going their separate ways only to amazingly meet up later in a meeting where Jeremy wants to hire Lowen to “co-write” and finish a series of books that his wife, also an author, started and is unable to finish due to a car accident. Against her better judgement she takes the job and journeys to their home to dig through “Verity’s” office and start her work. Upon arriving she sees a family on the edge of madness and despair, Verity needing 24 hour care, unable to move, speak, or interact at all with her environment. Jeremy barely handling his depression over his 2 lost daughters, and his remaining son Crew caught up in their tragic life. All is not what it seems however, this is truly a house of horrors. As things begin happening that make Low start to doubt that Verity is actually in the condition she seems to be in, she begins reading Verity’s “autobiography” and discovers some horrifying details about the authors past, as well as her relationship with Jeremy. At the same time she experiences this weird envy to be her. As details begin unfolding the terrifying truth comes to light, but her heart is already set on another woman’s husband… But what is truth and what is lies.. and is anyone really a good guy? What will you choose to believe in the end.

This book got me all kinds of twisted by the end and then chewed me, tied me and spit me out! Such a great read, though intensely nerve racking!
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I am always looking for KU ideas so feel free to send some recommendations my way or tell where to steer clear!! Thanks for stopping by!