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!
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! View all my reviews
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. View all my reviews
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.
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! View all my reviews
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. View all my reviews
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… View all my reviews
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!
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!
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! View all my reviews
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! View all my reviews
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!
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!
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! View all my reviews
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. View all my reviews
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! View all my reviews
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! View all my reviews
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 😉!
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!
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! View all my reviews
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! View all my reviews
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. View all my reviews
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. View all my reviews
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. View all my reviews