Sunday, 6 November 2022

Blame it on the Mistletoe by Beth Garrod Book Review!

 

Title: Blame it on the Mistletoe
Author: Beth Garrod   
Publish Date: November 2nd, 2021
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Source: Huge thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a review copy!

Tweet Cute meets the movie The Holiday in this funny holiday rom-com where two very different girls swap lives for a Christmas adventure.

Elle is a social medial star with the #DreamLife...or so it seems. Determined to shake up her content and gain new followers, she's on a mission: can she find a British fan to swap with for Christmas?

Holly loves everything about Christmas. But after a mortifying mistletoe disaster with her ex, her perfect plans unravel like a bad Christmas sweater. Can Holly save the holidays when she switches places with favorite social media influencer?

Elle gets more than she bargained for when she meets the cute boy from across the street. And Holly wasn't expecting Elle to have a handsome twin brother. This holiday is full of surprises.


Penelope's Review

I am always down for a Christmas book, especially one that involves a super cute romance so I was super excited to delve into this one at last! Elle and Holly have decided to switch houses for the holidays, and each have their own reasons for doing so.

Elle is a popular influencer on social media who has joined a competition that could make or break her account - in a bid for more followers, she decides to switch houses with one of her followers. Holly is a Christmas fanatic but big changes at home combined with a need to show her ex just how spontaneous she can be leads to her decision to head to America for Christmas. The fact that she's switching houses with her favorite social media star? BONUS! And our story continues from there...

I loved how festive this book was! It was all about Christmas which is my favourite time of the year, so that really helped me get invested in the story. But, I didn't love the writing style - it felt a little juvenile and chaotic. There were enough good moments throughout to keep my attention though, and I'm glad I finished the book!

In terms of romance, I preferred Holly's story to Elle's - I didn't feel as invested in Elle's romance, it kind of felt thrown in out of necessity and there wasn't enough interaction/build up to make it believable. Holly and Nick, however, had a bit more going for them. I definitely enjoyed their arc a lot more! 

Overall, this is a cute story with some really sweet moments, but I wouldn't say it's a must-read. Great for a quick, light read to get you in the holiday spirit though! It has some good take-home messages throughout as well, which is great for the younger groups who may read this.

Rating: 3/5 Devils!




Monday, 24 October 2022

Of Cages and Crowns by Brianna Joy Crump ARC Review!

 

Title: Of Cages and Crowns (The Culled Crown #1)
Author: Brianna Joy Crump
Publish Date: November 22nd, 2022
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Source: Huge thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC for review!

For goddess-touched girls, there is only one destiny: the Culling

From the moment Monroe Benson is born with a mark on her hand and the ability to summon fire from her fingertips, her life will never be her own. She’s goddess-touched, which means she’s destined to participate in the Culling, an age-old competition to determine the next queen of Erydia. For most of her seventeen years, her family has managed to keep Monroe--and her powers--hidden. But now, as Queen Viera calls for the Culling to start, and war looms on the horizon, Monroe can no longer hide. She must face her destiny whether she wants to or not.

For the ten goddess-touched girls, all with different powers, the inevitably of this fight to the death has always ruled their lives. The tradition is both barbaric and cruel, but to make matters worse--Monroe isn’t prepared. She hasn’t trained her whole life for this day. She doesn’t want to be in the spotlight. She doesn’t want the crown.

While Monroe struggles with her fate, a rebellion is brewing in the castle and in the country. A group called the Culled are banding together; their goal--to topple the monarchy. And the more they rise, the more merciless Viera is with her kingdom, recruiting younger and younger people from poorer and poorer places to fight in a war no one wants to be waging.

When Monroe finds herself on the front lines of the rebellion’s inner circle, only one thing stands in her way: Cohen. The queen’s son and the man who will be king. The pair grows close, yet Cohen’s dedication to duty, to family, to tradition stands in stark contrast to the boy Monroe sees at night in the kitchens, secretly making the two of them a snack.

As the fight crescendos around them, and the death of innocents is a force to bear, the choices Monroe makes will reverberate through the kingdom . . . and her heart forever.


Penelope's Review

I absolutely love competition-style books with fights to the death so this was a no-brainer for me! I know it's probably going to be referred to in like every review lol, but if you love The Hunger Games, grab this one! You won't be disappointed!

Our main female lead is Monroe Benson, and unfortunately for her, one of our goddess-touched girls. She wants nothing to do with this competition or being queen, but is thrust into it nonetheless. I liked how Monroe was unassumingly confident. She's quiet until she needs to stand up to someone, and then she's able to do so with ease. Her character development is slow, but I like the qualities she gains by the end of the book.

While I liked Cohen, I found that he was a bit too timid and weak for my tastes. Too much of a pushover... I would have preferred a stronger character BUT I liked his sweet side and felt that it worked with Monroe's character. I'm looking forward to seeing what the next book does with their relationship after that ending. They both have things to sort through and deal with and I'm curious to see if it will push them apart or bring them closer together. 

Thanks to a brutally evil queen, we also have a rebellion on the rise! The people are tired of her tyrannical ways and have banded together to fight back. Monroe is pulled into the Culled's plans and even though she believes in what they're fighting for, she can't help but question what this would mean for Cohen. 

The world-building in this book is excellent. I really like this author's writing style, and I think she handled her characters arcs well. Overall, I found it to be quite an enjoyable read with some great action and I'm looking forward to what comes next after such an explosive ending!

Rating: 4/5 Devils!






Tuesday, 18 October 2022

The Crimson Fathers by J. Todd Kingrea ARC Review!

 

Title: The Crimson Fathers (The Deiparian Saga #2)
Author: J. Todd Kingrea
Publish Date: November 1st, 2022
Publisher: BHC Press
Source: Huge thank you to the author for providing me with an ARC for review!

In a post-apocalyptic world where tyranny and medieval torture reign supreme and witch burnings are an everyday occurrence, a top Witchfinder must confront the very Church he serves when he learns of its dark past and twisted plans for the future.

With the Fifth Order in complete control of the Church of the Deiparous, Malachi Thorne and his friends must find "The Flame," a powerful weapon which may be the only chance they have of halting the evil of the Crimson Fathers.


Penelope's Review

I was so excited to see where this book would take us after the ending of The Witchfinder. The book starts a little while after the ending of the first book, and we've got different groups in different locations. 

Malachi Thorne is now the leader of the resistance and Teska Vaun is coming to terms with her place in the Communion as a Nahoru'brexia. Together, the two of them have a very rocky road ahead filled with danger and adventure. We also have the return of some of my favorite supporting characters - Dario, Cabbott, Hawkes, and Warner to name a few! The Fifth Order has taken control of the Church, and there's a price on Malachi's head... things are heating up to say the least!

This book gives everything you would expect from a well-written fantasy novel. It has great characters with some excellent development and fantastic world-building as we go along. Since this is a post-apocalyptic Earth, there's a bunch of clever location references thrown in that I absolutely loved!

I also really enjoyed the parallels - while this book is fantasy, we see a lot of power and corruption that can easily be seen in today's world. The fight for freedom is one that we have seen so many times throughout history and you can't help but root for Thorne and his friends to come out of all of this victorious. 

I really like when an author is able to tell more than one story and bring them together seamlessly and that's exactly what happens in The Crimson Fathers. We have Malachi, Teska, Amelia and Tua'Ahtaki on one path, and Hawkes, Warner, and Dario on another path. And then we have some brief looks into the goings on of The Crimson Fathers. We get to see how each of these paths converge and it made for a really enjoyable experience putting it all together!

The only thing that sort of threw me out of the reading experience was that we would switch from one point of view to another with no warning. Now I'm not sure if this is just an ARC issue, and that the final copy will have some indication when we're switching POV's but for me, it made some chapters a bit difficult. There were times when it would change even from one paragraph to the next so something to keep in mind!

Overall though, this was a great addition to the series and it looks like we have much to look forward to in the next installment. I'm excited to see where Malachi Thorne and his friends end up in their fight for freedom! 

Rating: 4/5 Devils!





Sunday, 2 October 2022

Court of the Vampire Queen by Katee Robert ARC Review!

 

Title: Court of the Vampire Queen
Author: Katee Robert
Publish Date: September 6th, 2022
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Source: Huge thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC for review! 

Three Powerfully Alluring Vampire Men

And One Queen to Rule Them All

All Mina ever wanted was to escape her father's control. Half human, half vampire, she lived eternally torn between two worlds, never fully experiencing the pleasures of either—until her father chose her as the pawn in his latest political move, gifting her to the darkly powerful and dangerously seductive Malachi Zion.

Malachi is not a vampire to be trifled with. He rules with an iron fist and has a reputation for the darkest of sins. But the longer Mina spends with him, the more she realizes he's not the monster she first thought—and as fear bleeds into lust, then trust, then something more, Malachi opens Mina up to a world she never knew could be hers for the taking: including the love of Malachi's two closest friends and companions.

Now surrounded by all three men, the center of their shockingly seductive world, Mina may finally have the power to face down her father and take back the life—and crown—that by all rights should be hers.

LONG LIVE THE QUEEN.


Penelope's Review

Ooohhh I love me some vampires! And this book has not 1, not 2, but 3!! THREE SEXY VAMPIRES! We start with one, then move into a threesome and eventually into a foursome and damn. Just damn. If you're into reverse harem, this one's for you!

Mina is a dhampir, so half-vampire half-human, and she's been sent by her father to Malachi to basically be a blood bag/sexual servant. We get off on a sexy note right from the beginning and we never really look back! Yes, there is a plot. And it's actually a decent plot! But if you came for the sex, you won't be disappointed. 

Our three vamps each have their own personality and I grew to love every one of them in their own way. They all brought a different perspective, and it made everything that much better. 

Could the plot have been fleshed out a bit more? Sure. Did I really care all that much because I was getting all of the steamy scenes my heart could imagine? Nope! Not a bit lol! 

Overall, it really was a decent read. I liked the characters, I liked the storyline, I liked the sex. It's a fun read! Dive in, you won't be disappointed if you know what you're getting into!

Rating: 4/5 Devils!





Friday, 30 September 2022

Prince of Song and Sea by Linsey Miller Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Hi everyone! I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the PRINCE OF SONG & SEA by Linsey Miller Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

About The Book:

Title: PRINCE OF SONG & SEA (Princes #1)

Author: Linsey Miller

Pub. Date: October 4, 2022

Publisher: Disney Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 352

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, Audible, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Bookshop.org

For fans of Twisted Tales and Villains is a brand new YA series that retells the classic Disney stories you thought you knew from the Disney Princes' perspectives.

Before Prince Eric’s mother, the Queen of Vellona, went missing two years ago, she reminded him about the details of the deadly curse that has plagued his entire life. The curse? If he were to kiss someone other than his true love, he would die. With a neighboring kingdom looking for any excuse to invade their shores, and rumors of ghost pirates lurking the seas, Eric is desperate for any information that may help him break his enchantment and bring stability to Vellona. The answers he has been searching for come to him in the form of a letter left from his mother that reveals Eric must find his true love, the one with a voice pure of heart,or kill the sea witch responsible for cursing him in the first place.

Now Eric is on a quest to find the Isle of Serein, the witch's legendary home. But after he is rescued by a mysterious young woman with a mesmerizing singing voice, Eric’s heart becomes torn. Does he enter a battle he is almost certain he cannot win or chase a love that might not even exist? And when a shipwrecked young woman with flaming red hair and a smile that could calm the seven seas enters his life, Eric may discover that true love isn’t something that can be decided by magic.

 

EXCERPT: 

Overture

PAIN washed over Eric in waves, salt sticking to every scratch. Water lapped at his legs, and a  bone-deep cold shuddered down his spine. He tried to turn  his head and groaned. He couldn’t move. Why couldn’t  he move? 

The ship! He had been on the ship. A storm, worse  than any he had ever weathered, had swept over them  faster than lightning. They’d caught fire and crashed,  the powder kegs exploding, and he had been thrown into  the sea. Eric tried to call out and choked. Each breath  stung, the acrid taste of ash prickling across his tongue.  His chest ached. 

But all of it meant he was alive. He had survived. A soft hum broke through the pain. It started low  and sad, like far-off whale calls. Fingers stroked his face,  brushing salt and sand from his sore skin. The melody,  the tender touch, became a pinpoint of light in the dark,  and he struggled to hold on to it. The gentle voice grew  louder and stronger. Sunlight burned through his eye lids. Eric forced his eyes open and gasped. 

She was breathtaking, a backlit shadow glittering  with seawater. Her features were as distorted as her  words, but the hand against his cheek was so tender that  he knew she meant no harm. He reached for her, and she  eased him back into the sand. A warm, fluttering feeling  flowed over him. 

Safety, he thought. This was safety. 

She must have been strong to drag him from the  wreckage and kind, too, to risk her life for his. The sweet  lilt of her song filled his head. 

She and her voice were the only things between him  and death at sea. 

And they slipped through his fingers like sand.

 

About Linsey Miller:

Once upon a time, Linsey Miller studied biology in Arkansas. These days, she holds an MFA in fiction and can be found writing about science and magic anywhere there is coffee. She is the author of the Mask of Shadows duology, Belle Révolte, The Game, What We Devour, and the upcoming Disney Princes books for Eric and Phillip. Visit her at linseymiller.com.

 

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Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of PRINCE OF SONG & SEA, US Only.

Ends November 5th, midnight EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

10/1/2022

The Reading Devil

Excerpt/IG Post

Week Two:

10/2/2022

Celia's Reads

Review/IG Post

10/3/2022

a GREAT read

Review/IG Post

10/4/2022

Kait Plus Books

Review/IG Post

10/5/2022

@ReadsReaders

YouTube Review/IG Post/TikTok Post

10/6/2022

Wanderingwitchreads

TikTok Review/IG Post

10/7/2022

OddandBookish

Review/IG Post

10/8/2022

@simplybeccamee

IG Review

Week Three:

10/9/2022

Nerdophiles

Review

10/10/2022

Ya Books Central

Excerpt/IG Post

10/11/2022

A Bookish Dream

Review/IG Post

10/12/2022

bookbriefs

Review/IG Post

10/13/2022

onemused

IG Review

10/14/2022

One More Exclamation

Review/IG Post

10/15/2022

Ohyouread

IG Review

Week Four:

10/16/2022

pluvioreads

Review/TikTok Post

10/17/2022

Eli to the nth

Review/IG Post

10/18/2022

Eye-Rolling Demigod's Book Blog

Review/IG Post

10/19/2022

@ReaderOfTheWrittenWord

IG Review

10/20/2022

A Backwards Story

Review/IG Post

10/21/2022

A Dream Within A Dream

Review/IG Post

10/22/2022

booksaremagictoo

Review/IG Post

Week Five:

10/23/2022

Novel Novice

IG Spotlight

10/24/2022

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Review/IG Post

10/25/2022

@bookishreviews_byalison

IG Review

10/26/2022

@jacleomik33

IG Review

10/27/2022

Nonbinary Knight Reads

Review/IG Post

10/28/2022

@thebookishfoxwitch

IG Review

10/29/2022

@drew_ambitious_reading

IG Review/TikTiok Review

Week Six:

10/30/2022

PopTheButterfly Reads

Review/IG Post

10/31/2022

Books with Brandie Shanae

YouTube Review/IG Post