ARC Review: The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare (Girl Meets Duke #1)

33259027The Duchess Deal
Author: Tessa Dare
Series: Girl Meets Duke #1
Release Date: August 22, 2017
Publisher: Avon
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:
– They will be husband and wife by night only.
– No lights, no kissing.
– No questions about his battle scars.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
– They will have dinner together every evening.
– With conversation.
– And unlimited teasing.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Thank you Edelweiss and Avon for the review copy!

Tessa Dare always provides comical historical romances with the sweetest characters, and The Duchess Deal was no different! I have to admit, after reading pretty much most of her works, there were some familiar tropes she used that were also seen in other books as well. However, that didn’t detract from the lovely story and romance at all. All I can say is that after finishing the book (at 2 am in the morning, no less), my heart was just full of love. This was definitely another successful work for Dare! (And look at that cover – absolutely gorgeous.) Continue reading

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ARC Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

25489134The Bear and the Nightingale
Author: Katherine Arden
Series: Book 1
Release Date: April 11, 2017
Publisher: Harper Teen
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

While The Bear and the Nightingale takes readers on a slow journey, each detail and description helps the story come to life as we follow the growth and adventure of Vasilisa Petrovna, or Vasya. Raised in the woods of Russia, called Lesnaya Zemlya, Vasya lives with her four other siblings, widowed father, and nursemaid, Dunya, who starts the book off telling a story. Stories and fairy tales play a large role in the book, as Vasya discovers how intermingled her world is with these seemingly inconsequential stories and how much of an impact they will have on her family and village. The Bear and the Nightingale is very character-focused on Vasya, her impudence and wildness, and the lengths she would take to save the people she love, even as they doubt her. Continue reading

Book Review: The Queen and the Cure by Amy Harmon (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles #2)

34845313The Queen and the Cure
Author: Amy Harmon
Series: The Bird and the Sword Chronicles #2
Release Date: May 9, 2017
Publisher: Self-Published
Get it Here: Only $4.99 on Amazon Kindle!

Synopsis:

“There will be a battle, and you will need to protect your heart.”

Kjell of Jeru had always known who he was. He’d never envied his brother or wanted to be king. He was the bastard son of the late King Zoltev and a servant girl, and the ignominy of his birth had never bothered him.

But there is more to a man than his parentage. More to a man than his blade, his size, or his skills, and all that Kjell once knew has shifted and changed. He is no longer simply Kjell of Jeru, a warrior defending the crown. Now he is a healer, one of the Gifted, and a man completely at odds with his power.

Called upon to rid the country of the last vestiges of the Volgar, Kjell stumbles upon a woman who has troubling glimpses of the future and no memory of the past. Armed with his unwanted gift and haunted by regret, Kjell becomes a reluctant savior, beset by old enemies and new expectations. With the woman by his side, Kjell embarks upon a journey where the greatest test may be finding the man she believes him to be.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Note: This is the sequel companion to The Bird and the Sword, which I reviewed over here. It contains tiny, slight spoilers about the first book.

The moment I saw this cover and Amy Harmon’s name, I knew it had to be a companion of sorts to the book The Bird and the Sword, a delicious, romantic fantasy that I had the pleasure to read and love last year. The main character, Lark, was a quietly powerful heroine whose lack of voice made her actions all the more meaningful. While Lark and Tiras have cameos in this story, it centers upon Kjell, the half-brother of Tiras and bastard son of the king who discovered in the previous book that he was Gifted and had the power of healing. The Queen and the Cure was another more quiet, yet still emotional read that had tremendous characterization as both Kjell and Sasha tried to find where they belonged in a fantasy world that is progressing and changing. Continue reading

Mini-Reviews: Sad Sequels For Some Historical Romance Series

Many of y’all know that I read historical romances for fun. They’re fast, flighty, flirty, and always give me feel-good vibes because of Happily Ever Afters. (As a reader I generally lean more towards those kind of books.) Maybe I’m growing a bit more cynical or getting to used to the common tropes used, however, as both these historical were unfortunately not very impressive for me. Let’s hope my next reads are!


Continue reading

ARC Review: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

30095464The Bone Witch
Author: Rin Chupeco
Series: The Bone Witch #1
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
The beast raged; it punctured the air with its spite. But the girl was fiercer.
Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.
Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland…and threaten the very survival of those she loves.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Thank you Sourcebooks for the review copy!

While I can’t say that The Bone Witch was the most captivating start as the first book of a trilogy, it did lay a solid foundation on what readers will expect in the sequel. In fact, I really expect that the next two books will be full of twists and action, even though we only got to see tidbits of them in this one. While The Bone Witch was incredibly slow in plot and progression – after all, it is following Tea’s journey of being a Dark asha in the course of a couple of years – the characterization and set-up of the world does more than enough to appeal to readers, despite the pace. I highly urge high fantasy readers to give this one a try, not only because of the gorgeous, dark world that Chupeco paints, but also because the ending of this one hints to more to come in the upcoming books. Continue reading

Be On The Lookout! | Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh

be-on-the-lookout

Be On the Lookout! is a feature highlighting magnificent books that I’m trying to convince people to preorder, add to their TBR, or just be on the lookout for. It’s mainly a way for me to fangirl about the merits of a book outside a review, and hopefully make more readers aware of books that are not to be missed!

I’m really happy to be here for a shout out of an awesome #OwnVoices book for Korean representation: Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh! It’s action-packed from beginning to end, with amazing characters that you’ll just grow to love and awesome robots that are both daunting as they are amazing. I literally can’t shout enough of my love for this book to the sky! Pacific Rim + Kdramas = Rebel Soul, which comes out September 15, 2017.

BONUS: If you preorder the book, you get a postcard (with REALLY REALLY COOL art of the characters) and get entered in a giveaway for character-themed packages! Trust me, these packages are super cool. Face masks, Gundam suits (omg), and all sorts of awesome tidbits that the author got from Korea.

Find the details on the Axie’s website here!

34931621After a great war, the East Pacific is in ruins. In brutal Neo Seoul, where status comes from success in combat, ex-gang member Lee Jaewon is a talented pilot rising in the ranks of the academy. Abandoned as a kid in the slums of Old Seoul by his rebel father, Jaewon desires only to escape his past and prove himself a loyal soldier of the Neo State.

When Jaewon is recruited into the most lucrative weapons development division in Neo Seoul, he is eager to claim his best shot at military glory. But the mission becomes more complicated when he meets Tera, a test subject in the government’s supersoldier project. Tera was trained for one purpose: to pilot one of the lethal God Machines, massive robots for a never-ending war.

With secret orders to report on Tera, Jaewon becomes Tera’s partner, earning her reluctant respect. But as respect turns to love, Jaewon begins to question his loyalty to an oppressive regime that creates weapons out of humans. As the project prepares to go public amidst rumors of a rebellion, Jaewon must decide where he stands—as a soldier of the Neo State, or a rebel of the people.

Pacific Rim meets Korean action dramas in this mind-blowing, New Visions Award-winning science fiction debut.

 

Rebel Seoul BOTL

Continue reading

Book Review: The Dragon’s Price by Bethany Wiggins (Transference #1)

30517879The Dragon’s Price
Author: Bethany Wiggins
Series: Transference #1
Release Date: February 21, 2017
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
Fans of Julie Kagawa’s Talon and Renee Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn will devour this action-packed fantasy adventure about a girl who chooses to surrender herself to a deadly dragon rather than marry an enemy prince.When two warring kingdoms unified against a deadly menace laying waste to both their lands, they had to make a choice: vow to marry their heirs to one another, or forfeit their lives to the dragon.
Centuries later, everyone expects the sheltered princess Sorrowlynn to choose the barbarian prince over the fire-breathing beast—everyone, that is, except Sorrow, who is determined to control her own destiny or die trying.
As she is lowered into the dragon’s chamber, she assumes her life is over until Golmarr, the young prince she just spurned, follows her with the hopes of being her hero and slaying the dragon. But the dragon has a different plan. . . .
If the dragon wins, it will be freed from the spell that has bound it to the cave for centuries. If Sorrow or Golmarr vanquish the dragon, the victor will gain its treasure and escape the cave beneath the mountain. But what exactly is the dragon hiding?
There are no safe havens for Sorrow or Golmarr—not even with each other—and the stakes couldn’t be higher as they risk everything to protect their kingdom.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

While this book had fun times with dragons and a main character with nice character development, it was hard to get past the cheesy romance, elementary dialogue, and racism that, although gets addressed as the main character grows, doesn’t deserve a place in here from the beginning. Continue reading

ARC Review: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee + Fan Art!

30116958The Epic Crush of Genie Lo
Author: F.C. Yee
Series: Has confirmed sequel (Y E S!)
Release Date: August 8, 2017
Publisher: Amulet Books
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

The struggle to get into a top-tier college consumes sixteen-year-old Genie Lo’s every waking thought. But when her sleepy Bay Area town comes under siege from hell-spawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are suddenly and forcefully rearranged.

Her only guide to the demonic chaos breaking out around her is Quentin Sun, a beguiling, maddening new transfer student from overseas. Quentin assures Genie she is strong enough to fight these monsters, for she unknowingly harbors an inner power that can level the very gates of Heaven.

Genie will have to dig deep within herself to summon the otherworldly strength that Quentin keeps talking about. But as she does, she finds the secret of her true nature is entwined with his, in a way she could never have imagined…

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

It’s been a couple of days since I’ve finished this book and I’m STILL NOT OVER IT. Seriously, I have all the love for this book to the moon and beyond. But I told myself I’d finish this review so I can schedule it and spread the love when closer to release date. The Epic Crush of Genie Lo immediately grasped my attention with its fierce cover and tag. I knew about a Chinese-American girl trying to juggle fighting demons and a supernatural power she never knew she had. That’s all I knew, and I was already excited. When I got a bit more into the book, I fell absolutely in love with its hilarious narrative, Chinese folklore, and refreshing characters. This is the book my Chinese teen heart has been pining for since a young child, and it’s one that really resonated with me. Continue reading

Book Review: Windwitch by Susan Dennard (The Witchlands #2)

29939390Windwitch
Author: Susan Dennard
Series: The Witchlands #2
Release Date: January 10, 2017
Publisher: Tor Teen
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…

After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.

When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?

After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Note: This is the sequel to Truthwitch, which you can find my review here. This review will have minor spoilers for the series.

I came into Windwitch with big expectations after loving Truthwitch and was disappointed by all fronts. I never got to see the wonderful friendship and connection of Iseult and Safi. The romantic tensions were pretty much not there at all between any of the ships (in fact, I’m hesitant to even call them ships at this point). Some of the characters were just extremely frustrating to read from, and the alternating third person limited POV’s between five people just bogged down the story. Let’s just say that for a fantasy with an expansive world and lots of traveling between characters, I just really couldn’t get into Windwitch.

I’ll break this review into the different POV’s that are happening, saving Merik for last because obviously, this book was mostly about him. Continue reading

ARC Review: Wildfire by Ilona Andrews (Hidden Legacy #3)

27422533Wildfire
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #3
Release Date: July 25, 2017
Publisher: Avon
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Just when Nevada Baylor has finally come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love. Connor “Mad” Rogan is in many ways her equal when it comes to magic, but she’s completely out of her elements when it comes to her feelings for him. To make matters more complicated, an old flame comes back into Rogan’s life…Rogan knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. But as Nevada begins to learn more about her past, her power, and her potential future, he knows she will be faced with choices she never dreamed of and the promise of a life spent without him.

As Nevada and Rogan race to discover the whereabouts of Rynda’s kidnapped husband and are forced to confront Nevada’s grandmother, who may or may not have evil motives, these two people must decide if they can trust in each other or allow everything to go up in smoke.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Note: This is the last book of the Hidden Legacy series, and will have minor spoilers. You can check out my review for book 1, Burn For Me, over here and my review for book 2, White Hot, over here.

This was an amazing conclusion to the Hidden Legacy trilogy! Ilona Andrews continues on with a kickass action and adventure, featuring strong characters who aren’t afraid to stand up and fight for what they love, and for what they believe in. We get more development with Nevada’s powers, and a slight conflict with her family as secrets become unveiled. But throughout it all, her love and support from Rogan are there, as well as Nevada’s dedicated and loyal personality that makes her so enjoyable to read about. Continue reading