Blog Tour: Nocturne by Kat Ross

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I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

35836852Nocturne by Kat Ross

Release date: October 15th, 2017
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Genre: Fiction, fantasy
Format: eBook

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Nocturne, a wilderness of eternal night.

Solis, a wasteland of endless day.

Nazafareen is a Breaker, a mortal who has the rare ability to shatter spell magic—although her power carries a high price. With the memories of her former self erased and nowhere else to turn, she comes to Nocturne hoping to start a new life under the triple moons of the darklands.

But when an assassin forces Nazafareen to flee to the sunlit mortal city of Delphi, she finds herself embroiled in a deeper mystery whose origins lie far in the past. Why was the continent sundered into light and dark a thousand years before? And what really happened to the elegant but ruthless creatures who nearly reduced the world to ashes? The new Oracle might know, but she’s outlawed magic and executes anyone caught practicing it. Nazafareen must hide her powers and find a way out of the city—before it’s too late.

As the net slowly tightens, something ancient and vengeful begins to stir in the arid death zone called the Kiln. A dashing daeva named Darius is pursuing Nazafareen, but so are a multitude of enemies. War is brewing again. Can she stay alive long enough to stop it?

It’s no secret that last year Kat Ross became one of my favourite authors. I devoured all of her books and just couldn’t get enough. Her Fourth Element series is my personal favourite. Its a blend of Greek and Middle Eastern history, religion, mythology and magic. Besides being completely unlike anything that I’ve read before, its true strength was its characters. I couldn’t get enough of Nazafareen and Darius and was was heartbroken when the series ended. However, Ross has picked up their story again in Nocturne, which takes place not long after Queen of Chaos (the final book in Fourth Element series) ended. So, while technically you can read this book without having read the previous series, I do highly recommend checking it out. YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED!

Now, it’s sometimes hard to keep things rolling when continuing a story, but this book was absolutely fantastic! From page one it just hit the ground running and I love books that do that. No slow buildup, waiting for the story to start. Its fast paced and full of twists and turns. I enjoyed the blend of old and new characters. Nazafareen and Darius are now hiding in his ancestral home, but things aren’t so good between them. Nazafareen has lost all of her memories and is struggling to piece together who she was and Darius (bless him) believes that it’s best to only tell her half-truths in order to protect her. He means well but Nazafareen needs to know more. So, well my two favourites spend most of the book apart, the new additions more than make up for it. Javid was so much fun to read about and Culach….I can’t believe I’m going to say this but I adored the chapters written from his POV. Wow!

I want to write and say more but I’ll seriously give away too much about the story and spoil parts of the Fourth Element series. This is so difficult! Anyway, it’s key to keep in mind that Nocturne acts as a setup for the rest of the series. A lot of different storylines are put into motion and more questions are asked than answered. If anything, it just makes me want to read the sequel, Solis, right away! (I’ve pushed aside all of my other books and moved it to the top of my TBR pile.)

I could go on and on about how much I loved this book, its world and characters. Ross has managed to create something truly magical, beautiful and complex. What else can I say but JUST READ IT! I promise you that you won’t regret it. ❤


About the Author

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day, the Fourth Element fantasy trilogy (The Midnight Sea, Blood of the Prophet, Queen of Chaos), and a new gaslamp mystery series that opens with The Daemoniac and continues with The Thirteenth Gate. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook


Giveaway

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Review: 27 Hours by Tristina Wright

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

2852619227 Hours by Tristina Wright

Release date: October 3rd, 2017
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Genre: Young adult, science fiction
Format: eBook

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Rumor Mora fears two things: hellhounds too strong for him to kill, and failure. Jude Welton has two dreams: for humans to stop killing monsters, and for his strange abilities to vanish.

But in no reality should a boy raised to love monsters fall for a boy raised to kill them.

Nyx Llorca keeps two secrets: the moon speaks to her, and she’s in love with Dahlia, her best friend. Braeden Tennant wants two things: to get out from his mother’s shadow, and to unlearn Epsilon’s darkest secret.

They’ll both have to commit treason to find the truth.

During one twenty-seven-hour night, if they can’t stop the war between the colonies and the monsters from becoming a war of extinction, the things they wish for will never come true, and the things they fear will be all that’s left.

27 Hours is a sweeping, thrilling story featuring a stellar cast of queer teenagers battling to save their homes and possibly every human on Sahara as the clock ticks down to zero.

I’ve been trying to write this review for a while and have given up more times than I can remember. 1) I’ve been finding it difficult to get back into writing reviews 2) I’m conflicted about this book and 3) I feel like other bloggers can write about the things that bothered me better than I ever could. So, I totally encourage you to read reviews written by Aimal and Fadwa as they tackle issues with race, representation and colonization.

I was really excited about this book! The hype of Twitter was in overdrive and it sounded totally awesome…queer teens in space? Yes, please! So, when I finally picked it up after my long reading break I was super pumped but ended up being very disappointed.

The writing was well done…everything flowed, it featured unique characters, and had solid pacing but something felt off. Much of the story is about how in the future humans are beginning to colonize the moon but have not realized that the native inhabitants are asleep underground. This sets off a bloody conflict between the human colonizers and the chimera indigenous inhabitants. What bothered me was how the chimera didn’t get a say in how the story was being told. EVERYTHING comes from the perspectives of the human invaders. I don’t know if the author intended this to happen but it read as if we were supposed to feel bad for the human characters and their struggles with letting go of their long held prejudices. Now, the book doesn’t ever come out and say that the way the human characters treat the colonized population is right, but it doesn’t fully condemn it either.

I have other concerns about the world as well. The story is supposed to take place in the future in a time when humans are discriminated against due to race or sexual orientation, where there is only one human language, blah, blah, blah. But it really didn’t feel like the future to me at all. The teens in the book sound like the teens I teach everyday. Words from languages apparently not used anymore, references to movies and the slang from today stood out as odd. Also, with the whole lack of prejudice and discrimination (which would be amazing) being long gone from society I feel like the book missed out on some important topics that could have been discussed. It also just seems unrealistic. Maybe it was because the book sounded like it was still taking place in 2017? I don’t even know.

One thing that the book did do well was how it represented the queer community. Just to break it down a tiny bit, there is a bisexual, pansexual, transgender and asexual characters. One character is also deaf which is not something I have seen a lot in YA sci-fi books. All of the characters were briefly described as being PoC but this was an area kind of skimmed over in the book. A lot more could have been explored but wasn’t. Almost all of the characters had their own POV and I applaud the author for making them each have their own unique voice. Sometimes with multiple POVs things can get confusing and messy but not here!

NOTE: I have seen how many ace reviewers have been hurt by the rep in the book. I encourage you to read this review which explains the issues with the book’s ace representation.

So….27 Hours was not the book that I thought it was going to be. I has a lot of problematic aspects that I just couldn’t get over. I know for a fact that I won’t be reading the sequel or investing anymore time into this series.

Mini Reviews: The Witch Doesn’t Burn In This One & Between the Blade and the Heart

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

34518216The Witch Doesn’t Burn in this One by Amanda Lovelace

Release date: March 6th, 2018
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Genre: Poetry
Format: eBook

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The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one.

Amanda Lovelace has done it again! This collection of poetry was amazingly well written…I felt so many emotions while reading it. I teared up, I got angry, I felt shattered and then inspired. The collection, much like her previous one, touches on a variety of topics, including feminism, violence against women, rape, self-love and abusive relationships. Her words have so much power, each one carefully chosen and formatted for effect. I’m always amazed at how much she can say when only using a limited number of words. I can’t properly describe how reading this book made me feel. I simply don’t have the words.

I know this is a collection that I’ll come back to again and again. It’s a stunning companion to her debut and now that it’s part of a series…well I can’t wait for what Ms Lovelace will release next! This is most definitely, without a single doubt, a poetry book that everyone needs to read!


I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

34964846Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking 

Release date: January 2nd, 2018
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
Format: eBook

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Valkyries have one great responsibility: to return immortals to the afterlife by slaying them. As a Valkyrie, Malin has always known that the balance of the world rests on her ability to carry out orders. But when Malin discovers that her mother spared the life of an immortal who was destined to die, her world is thrown into chaos.

Malin not only wrestles with the knowledge that her mother might not be who she thought—she’s also thrust into the path of a gorgeous blue eyed guy named Asher who needs her help slaying the rogue immortal who destroyed his family. The balance of the world is at stake. And, as Asher competes with Malin’s ex for her love and loyalty, so is her heart.

This book was such a surprise! It was fast paced, very entertaining and full of action. I read through it so quickly…it was such a change from the author’s other books which I found to have pacing and dialogue issues.

The story is a blend of Norse and Scandinavian mythologies and cultures. It revolves around valkyries, which I thought was pretty cool. The lead character, Malin, was not my favourite, but my indifference towards her wasn’t enough to turn me off from reading. I guess my main issue was that she was so self-centered and cold. The secondary characters really stood out to me. They were so much fun and full of attitude! Attitude is an excellent word to describe the world. I actually thought going in that it was be kind of a fantasy world only but instead it’s a mix of our world and this other one with mythical creatures, immortals, etc. Everyone is so badass, tattooed and grungy.

Overall, I thought that the book was a solid start to a new series. It’s ending left me with enough questions to have me looking forward to reading the sequel. Yes, it has some flaws with characterization, but I’m hoping Malin will develop and move forward in the next book. So, if you are a fan of the author’s past books or would like to read a story that’s fast paced and interesting, then this is the book for you!

Mini Reviews: Seize Today & The Hazel Wood

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

32453735Seize Today by Pintip Dunn

Release date: October 3rd, 2017
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Genre: Young adult, science fiction
Format: eBook

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Seventeen-year-old precognitive Olivia Dresden is an optimist. Since different versions of people’s futures flicker before her eyes, she doesn’t have to believe in human decency. She can literally see the path to goodness in each person—if only he or she would make the right decision. No one is more conflicted than her mother, Chairwoman Dresden, and Olivia is fiercely loyal to the woman her mother could be.

But when the Chairwoman captures Ryder Russell, a boy from the rebel Underground, Olivia is forced to reevaluate her notions of love and faith. With Ryder’s help, Olivia must come to terms with who her mother is in the present—and stop her before she destroys the world.

I can’t think of a better way to end a fantastic series! Seize Today was so much fun to read…it was fast-paced, full of adventure and all about the characters. What I absolutely loved about it was how it wrapped up all of the major storylines but also featured a new a fresh plot that kept me interested from start to finish.

This book focused on Olivia, which provides us with a different look at the world. The previous two books were told from the perspectives of Callie and her sister Jessa, but here things are not so straightforward. Callie and Jessa were all about saving each other, fighting the system, etc. Olivia is complicated and unsure. She’s been through so much emotional trauma that she’s not really sure who to trust. I loved getting to know more about her.

This book is shorter than its predecessors but it didn’t hurt the way that the story unfolded. The pacing was quick and there never was a dull moment. Absolutely no filler here! Ahh….it’s so difficult to write about a third book in a series because I don’t want to give anything about the plot away. But trust me when I say that this book was good, really good!

Now that the complete series is out, I really hope more people decide to pick it up. It should get a lot more love than it has been given so far! I’m so sad to see it end but can’t wait to see what Pintip Dunn has planned next!


I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

34275232The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Release date: January 30th, 2018
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
Format: eBook

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Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

The Hazel Wood was creepy, mysterious and unfortunately very flawed. I was very excited to read it but ended up being disappointed. Perhaps I built it up too much in my mind before reading it? Like just look at that beautiful cover! And then there were the other reviews…other bloggers were just gushing with love for this book. I don’t know but it wasn’t what I thought it would be. I just hate when this happens.

The story is about Alice, a young woman who appears to be plagued by bad luck. When her mother is kidnapped, Alice goes off on a journey to save her and discover more about her family background. I wanted to like Alice but she came off as too aggressive, too blunt…too everything that turns me off of a character. And characters are extremely important to a story. If I don’t like the MC how am I going to care and become invested in their journey? So it’s best to say that I spent most of the book not really caring about what was happening. I skimmed over some sections and put it down quite often. Actually, I finished two other books and took a reading break before I finally finished this.

The writing style also didn’t do it for me. I usually like the lyrical writing style but here it felt like it was trying too hard. The pacing was also uneven with certain parts feeling unnecessarily long or slow. And the ending? Well, that’s what really let me down. The last 100 pages or so should have been the most important part of the book but ended up being a rushed and muddled mess.

So, while I like the idea of The Hazel Wood it never lived up to what I thought it would be. The characters and the writing let me down. I need characters that I can get behind. I need to care about the plot, feel caught up in it and never want the story to end. Sadly, I couldn’t wait to turn the final page and stop reading.

Mini Reviews: The Tiger’s Daughter & The Hollow Girl

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

29760778The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera

Release date: October 3rd, 2017
Publisher: Tor Books
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
Format: eBook

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Even gods can be slain….

The Hokkaran empire has conquered every land within their bold reach―but failed to notice a lurking darkness festering within the people. Now, their border walls begin to crumble, and villages fall to demons swarming out of the forests.

Away on the silver steppes, the remaining tribes of nomadic Qorin retreat and protect their own, having bartered a treaty with the empire, exchanging inheritance through the dynasties. It is up to two young warriors, raised together across borders since their prophesied birth, to save the world from the encroaching demons.

This is the story of an infamous Qorin warrior, Barsalayaa Shefali, a spoiled divine warrior empress, O-Shizuka, and a power that can reach through time and space to save a land from a truly insidious evil.

I was beyond excited to pick this book up, even if the reviews I read on Goodreads hadn’t been very positive. It’s a f/f fantasy epic (the book is 500+ pages long) about warrior princesses. Everything about this book sounded perfect when I requested it on NetGalley…the cover, the story, the fact that it was a f/f romance (we need more of these), etc. and it didn’t let me down. I loved it!

One thing I think readers need to keep in mind when they pick this book up is that it’s a slow burn. There are a lot of pages and the story takes time to build. Yes, some sections were a bit too slow for my liking, but the author took her time building up the world and characters. Everything felt fully formed…as if I could reach out and touch it, which to me is the hallmark of a beautifully written fantasy world.

What I really enjoyed about this book was how the relationship between the two main characters, Shefali and Shizuka, took center stage. Their adventures, challenges and love for each other took hold of my heart. I just wish that I would have gotten to see both sides of the relationship as it is mostly told through letters from one POV. Besides my love for the main characters, the supporting cast was also superbly written. Ren, a little used but intriguing transgender character, really stood out. I hope that she has a larger role in future books.

Overall, I was quite pleased with this book and look forward to picking up the sequel. The author has created a gorgeous character-driven world that completely hooked me from the very start. So, while it may have been a little too long with some slow sections, it’s well worth it! This really is a book that you need to read.


I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

28936314The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan 

Release date: October 10th, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Young adult, horror, fantasy
Format: eBook

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Five boys attacked her.
Now they must repay her with their blood and flesh.

Bethan is the apprentice to a green healer named Drina in a clan of Welsh Romanies. Her life is happy and ordered and modest, as required by Roma custom, except for one thing: Silas, the son of the chieftain, has been secretly harassing her.

One night, Silas and his friends brutally assault Bethan and a half-Roma friend, Martyn. As empty and hopeless as she feels from the attack, she asks Drina to bring Martyn back from death’s door. “There is always a price for this kind of magic,” Drina warns. The way to save him is gruesome. Bethan must collect grisly pieces to fuel the spell: an ear, some hair, an eye, a nose, and fingers.

She gives the boys who assaulted her a chance to come forward and apologize. And when they don’t, she knows exactly where to collect her ingredients to save Martyn.

This book….it…wow. I don’t even know where to start with it. I knew I would like it based on the description alone but didn’t expect to be so blown away. It was a dark (very, very dark) story about a Romani girl who becomes a victim of rape and embarks on a journey of revenge.

Now, with such an important and sensitive topic, the author could have totally messed it up, but Hillary Monahan handled everything with great care. The writing style plunges the reader into the inner thoughts, emotion and complete turmoil felt by the main character, Bethan. Here rape is not just treated as a physical assault, but an emotional one as well. To be completely honest, some parts were very difficult to read. Breaks were necessary, as the book can be very graphic and violent. The entire rape isn’t described in the book, but enough of it is. So, it can be very difficult for some people to read. I also appreciated how the author discussed the issues and gave warnings about it the author’s note section.

As much as I loved this book, it felt uneven in some sections, like the pacing was off. Some parts were just too slow and broke my emotional connection with what was happening in the story. Some chapters could have easily been cut in half.

This is a book that you need to check out! It’s dark, violent and emotional. Of course, it isn’t for everyone and I would tread with caution if you are triggered by violence and sexual assault. However, I applaud the author for handling difficult situations in a very sensitive manner. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Mini Reviews: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding + Smoke & Mirrors

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

33785202The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken
Release date: September 5th, 2017
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Genre: Middle grade, fantasy
Format: eBook

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“I would say it’s a pleasure to meet thee, Prosperity Oceanus Redding, but truly, I only anticipate the delights of destroying thy happiness.”

Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old and storied family history — that is, until he discovers the demon living inside him. Turns out Prosper’s great-great-great-great-great-something grandfather made — and then broke — a contract with a malefactor, a demon who exchanges fortune for eternal servitude. And, weirdly enough, four-thousand-year-old Alastor isn’t exactly the forgiving type.

The fiend has reawakened with one purpose — to destroy the family whose success he ensured and who then betrayed him. With only days to break the curse and banish Alastor back to the demon realm, Prosper is playing unwilling host to the fiend, who delights in tormenting him with nasty insults and constant attempts trick him into a contract. Yeah, Prosper will take his future without a side of eternal servitude, thanks.

Little does Prosper know, the malefactor’s control over his body grows stronger with each passing night, and there’s a lot Alastor isn’t telling his dim-witted (but admittedly strong-willed) human host.

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding was a delightful and quirky middle grade novel. I had so much fun reading it and can’t recommend it enough! The book has a perfect mixture of spooky, Halloween-like vibes (demons, witches, curses), real world issues (bullying, fitting in) and witty dialogue that I was never bored. While it’s labeled as middle grade, I totally believe that people of all ages would enjoy it.

The story focuses on Prosper, a young boy who just doesn’t fit in. To make matters worse, he finds out that he has a demon living inside of him! Much of the story is Prosper arguing with his demon, Alastor. I just loved their conversations so much! Prosper is very sarcastic and Alastor (while supposed to be evil) can off as a grumpy old man, always trying to trick Prosper into agreements. Every page that featured these two characters was enjoyable to read.

My only issue with the book was how uneven it was. The story started strong, became stagnant in the middle and then picked up pace near the end. I struggled to get through the middle bits and am happy that I did. It was more than worth it but I didn’t take away some of my enjoyment. Overall, even with the pacing issues, this is a must read for people looking for a fun and spooky read.


I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

35489043Smoke & Mirrors by Michael Faudet
Release date: November 14th, 2017
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Genre: Poetry
Format: eBook

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Michael Faudet’s latest book takes the reader on an emotionally charged journey, exploring the joys of falling madly in love and the melancholy world of the brokenhearted. Beautifully captured in poetry, prose, and short stories, Faudet’s whimsical and sometimes erotic writing has captured the hearts and minds of thousands of readers from around the world.

This is Michael Faudet’s third poetry collection. I completely adored Dirty Pretty Things but found Bitter Sweet Love to be alright. This collection harks back to what made me fall in love with his writing. It’s a mixture of poems, short stories and quotes that explore love, relationships and sex. However, unlike his previous collections, the writing here focuses more on love and relationships than sex, something I found I could connect with more.

I read this collection in one sitting, although I do have to be completely honest, I skipped over the poems that were sexually explicit. That’s just not my thing and in past books they could be quite crude, so why push to read something I know I won’t enjoy? I think I would have loved this collection more if it was just the author speaking from his heart. The poems of failed relationships, longing and heartbreak are what appeal to me and when done right, the author can really stir up feelings I’ve long forgotten. I quite enjoyed how Faudet can transmit such raw and intense emotion in very few words. That, however, is not the case with his short stories. They were long and drawn-out…they lacked the urgency of his poems and brought the book to a standstill.

So, while I think this was a significant improvement to his previous release, Smoke & Mirrors was a mixed bag. It reminded me of why I love most of Faudet’s poems, but other parts were slow and cold. I guess it’s sometimes hard to top a much beloved debut but this collection gave me some hope that the next will be even better.

 

Mini Reviews: The Lady of Royale Street & Colorless

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

32620396The Lady of Royale Street by Thea de Salle

Release date: August 21st, 2017
Publisher: Pocket Star
Genre: Romance, new adult, contemporary
Format: eBook

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Alex DuMont is everything his brother Sol isn’t: regimented, serious, and devout. Between twelve-hour workdays, service to the church, punishing daily workouts, and bi-weekly therapy sessions, Alex is, as Sol once put it, “a kettle perpetually whistling as it boils itself to death.” So when Sol announces his marriage to Arianna Barrington, heiress and society sweetheart, Alex is the absolute worst choice to be his best man. Sol asks anyway and Alex reluctantly agrees. It’s only a week, after all, and Alex should be able to stop himself from throttling his big brother for a meager seven days. Probably. Maybe.

Theresa Ivarson is Arianna’s best friend and the maid of honor. A decorated photojournalist who interrupts her globetrotting to stand beside her friend, Theresa is beautiful, witty, and unafraid to speak her mind. So when she is faced with working with the best man from Hell, a Viking who doesn’t know how to smile, is bossy, and about as pleasant as a cactus, the sparks are bound to fly—and not in the good way. To make matters worse, Sol and Rain’s wedding planner was hit by a bus the week before their special day, and Alex and Theresa find themselves at the center of a list-ditch effort to pull the wedding together. But when you can’t decide if you want to kiss or kill someone, something’s bound to break.

I discovered this series by Thea de Salle a few months ago from people posting about it on Twitter. It’s new adult and features a ton of sex which is usually not my “thing”. I’m usually a fantasy and oh-so-cute romance book kind of person, but I was intrigued by what people were saying. And they were all right….this series is AMAZING! I devoured this book along with its predecessors (The King of Bourbon Street and The Queen of Dauphine Street) within a month. If you haven’t read them seriously get on it!

The Lady of Royale Street was a fun and quick read! The story resolves around the Sol and Rain’s upcoming wedding. Nothing has gone as planned and in an effort to to avoid the day from turning into a complete disaster, the two enlist the help of Theresa (Rain’s best friend) and Alex (Sol’s brother). The problem? From the first time they meet these two are at odds, constantly bickering about every single thing.

Alex and Theresa were super adorable together. Their banter was some of my favourite from the series. It was witty and fast paced and had me smiling a lot while reading. Also, unlike the other relationships featured in the series, theirs felt natural. It was a slow build and one that developed by spending a large amount of time together. The one thing it did lack was the super steamy sex scenes that the other books had. I guess I was expecting more of the same? That said, this book had something the others lacked, which was an examination into religion, sex and desire. Both characters were religious and struggled with their beliefs and the feelings they had about each other and their actions. I honestly hadn’t read anything like it before.

Although it wasn’t what I was expecting, I loved every bit of The Lady of Royale Street. The characters were adorable, the dialogue brought a huge smile to my face and the blend of old and news characters was wonderfully done. I hope this isn’t the end of the series. There are so many more secondary characters to focus on, plus who doesn’t love New Orleans? Go out and buy all three books. YOU ARE MISSING OUT if you haven’t read this series. *sigh* I want more please!


I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

34625067Colourless by Rita Stradling

Release date: August 8th, 2017
Publisher: Rita Stradling
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
Format: eBook

DNF — 55%

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In Domengrad, there are rules all must live by: Fear the Gods. Worship the Magicians. Forsake the Iconoclasts.

To Annabelle Klein, the rules laid down by the Magicians are the mere ramblings of stuffy old men. As far as she’s concerned, the historic Iconoclasts, heretics who nearly destroyed the Magicians so long ago, are nothing but myth. She has much more important matters to worry about.

Heiress to a manor mortgaged down to its candlesticks and betrothed to her loathsome cousin, sixteen-year-old Annabelle doubts the gods could forsake her more.

Then Annabelle is informed of her parents’ sudden and simultaneous deaths, and all of the pigment drips out of her skin and hair, leaving her colourless. Within moments, Annabelle is invisible and forgotten by all who know her.

Living like a wraith in her own home, Annabelle discovers that to regain her color she must solve the mystery behind her parents’ murders and her strange transformation.

Meanwhile, hundreds of the Magicians’ monks, with their all-black eyes and conjoined minds, have usurped control of Annabelle’s family manor. An Iconoclast is rumored to be about—a person who they claim goes unseen, unheard, and lost to memory, yet is the greatest threat to all of Domengrad. For the first time in a hundred years, the monks plan to unleash the dire wolves of old.

Their only target: Annabelle.

Rita Stradling is an author with totally original ideas and the description of Colourless really caught my eye. Honestly, I thought that this book would be amazing. I guess I should have known better because as much as I adored the first two books in her Dakota Kekoa series, I really haven’t had much luck with her other books.

I read about 55% of this book and put it aside. I’m not even sure why I read so much of it. But then again, I really wouldn’t label it as “reading” but more as “skimming”. I was reading a few work in a sentence or a paragraph a page and just going through the motions. There was no spark, nothing that kept me interesting or wanting to read. The main issue? The lead character Annabelle was not likeable at all. She thought too highly of herself, like everyone owed her. How am I supposed to connect with that? She just irritated me to no end! Ugh!

The pacing and writing of the book also didn’t do it any favours. Alright, the first few chapters did contain some potential. They were full of mystery and intrigue…but after that it all just became so dull. The mystery and intrigue turned into pure confusion. I stopped caring because everything bounced around. Why were there so many perspectives? Was that necessary? Why did all the characters sound the same? Who was talking? My mind just kept on wandering and reading this book unfortunately felt like a task, not something that I wanted to do. Maybe I should have put it down sooner but I really wanted to try to finish it.

So, while Colourless had a fascinating plot idea nothing really took off after the first few pages. I’m sad that this book turned out this way. It was the first I picked up after not reading for weeks due to work. I guess in the future I’ll steer clear of Stradling’s books, although I would really love for the third book of the Dakota Keko series to be released. It feels like ages since the second book came out.