A Touch of Stone and Snow by Milla Vane Review | A Second Chance Romance In A Fantasy Setting

48646570. sy475 A Touch of Stone and Snow
Author: Milla Vane
Series: A Gathering of Dragons #2
Release Date: July 21, 2020
Publisher: Berkley
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Milla Vane returns to a world of kings, magic, and passion in her exhilarating A Gathering of Dragons series, as a great alliance forms to stand against an evil warlord intent on their destruction.

Danger lurks in the western realms. The Destroyer’s imminent return has sent the realms into turmoil as desperate citizens seek refuge—but there’s no safety to be found when demons and wraiths crawl out from the shadows. Even Koth, a northern island kingdom left untouched by the Destroyer a generation past, is besieged by terrors spawned from corrupt magics.

When Lizzan leads the Kothan army against these terrors, only to see her soldiers massacred and to emerge as the only survivor, she is called a coward and a deserter. Shunned from her home, Lizzan now wanders in solitude as a mercenary for hire, until she encounters a group of warriors seeking new alliances with the northern kingdoms—a group that includes Aerax, the bastard prince of Koth, and the man who sent her into exile.

Though they were childhood friends, Aerax cannot allow himself to be close to the only woman who might thwart his treacherous plan to save their island realm. But when a goddess’s demand binds them together, Lizzan and Aerax must find a way to overcome their painful pasts. Or there will be no future for the western realms…

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Check out my review on GoodReads over here! Check out my review of the previous book in the series here.

Milla Vane continues to write MAGIC into her adult fantasy romances!

I went into A TOUCH OF STONE AND SNOW with trepidation since I loved the previous book so much. I didn’t want high expectations to dim my enjoyment, you know? But I shouldn’t have been scared – Vane delivers and more. A TOUCH OF STONE AND SNOW was a fierce sequel in this series that also stands on its own, with cameos from familiar characters while focusing on a new region in Vane’s extensive world. All the characters – main and otherwise – ooze life into the pages, and you really can’t help but love them. Don’t be fooled by the covers! (I admit, I was when I first saw them.) This series is PERFECT for readers who love a delicious blend of romance and fantasy, with extensive world-building, action, and storyline to keep pages turning, and a scorching romance to tug at heartstrings. Vane’s writing completes the fantasy feeling – it’s a bit long-winded, but not so much where you get lost in the narrative. Her characterizations are masterfully crafted, creating flawed heroes that you can’t help but cheer on. And finally, this book features the best second-chance romance I’ve read this year. Continue reading “A Touch of Stone and Snow by Milla Vane Review | A Second Chance Romance In A Fantasy Setting”

Dragon Unleashed by Grace Draven Review | When The Dragonshifter Hunter Becomes The Hunted

43401514. sx318 Dragon Unleashed
Author: Grace Draven
Series: The Fallen Empire #2
Release Date: June 9, 2020
Publisher: Ace
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

A dragon shapeshifter and a healer with power over the earth fight a corrupt empire in this thrilling and deeply emotional romantic fantasy from the USA Today bestselling author of Radiance.

Magic is outlawed in the Krael Empire and punishable by death. Born with the gift of earth magic, the free trader Halani keeps her dangerous secret closely guarded. When her uncle buys a mysterious artifact, a piece of bone belonging to a long-dead draga, Halani knows it’s far more than what it seems.

Dragas haven’t been seen for more than a century, and most believe them extinct. They’re wrong. Dragas still walk among the denizens of the Empire, disguised as humans. Malachus is a draga living on borrowed time. The magic that has protected him will soon turn on him–unless he finds a key part of his heritage. He has tracked it to a group of free traders, among them a grave-robbing earth witch who fascinates him as much as she frustrates him with her many secrets.

Unbeknownst to both, the Empire’s twisted empress searches for a draga of her own, to capture and kill as a trophy. As Malachus the hunter becomes the hunted, Halani must risk herself and all she loves to save him from the Empire’s machinations and his own lethal birthright.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Check out my review on GoodReads over here!

3.5 STARS for a beautiful love story between a healer with Earth magic and a dragon that can bring lightning to his foes.

I was SO HYPED for this book, because I absolutely devoured the previous book of the series PHOENIX BOUND and adored it. While DRAGON UNLEASHED follows a different couple and storyline, it starts right off after the end of book 1. And let me say first: the energy is VERY different. PHOENIX BOUND is brutal and vicious, with a lot of action and violence. DRAGON UNLEASHED is about a healer, and thus has calmer moments, traveling, and dialogue, rather than straight-out battles. I would warn readers to be aware of that before starting DRAGON UNLEASHED, and with expectations that it’ll be like book 1. Different characters = different ways to outline the story. While I’m enjoying this world and lore, DRAGON UNLEASHED follows the same meandering pace that book 1 had, where the middle section dragged for quite some time without an actual progression in plot. I’m all about character interactions and development, but that seemed a bit stagnant as well. And while I love every page immersed in this world, I couldn’t help but feel my attention slip in the middle. Other than that, I enjoyed the rest of the book mightily and thought it was a solid sequel. Book 1 was definitely a bit more impactful for me, but DRAGON UNLEASHED was on the quieter and calmer side, and still as lovely and wonderful.

We begin with a hunt. Continue reading “Dragon Unleashed by Grace Draven Review | When The Dragonshifter Hunter Becomes The Hunted”

The Fiery Crown by Jeffe Kennedy Review | Have You Ever Read A Book That Was Majority Dialogue?

51168312. sx318 sy475

The Fiery Crown
Author: Jeffe Kennedy
Series: Forgotten Empires #2
Release Date: May 26, 2020
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository

Synopsis:

A queen and her rebel prince turn from enemies to lovers while evil forces plot to destroy them in this lush romantic fantasy.

Following The Orchid Throne, Conri and Lia’s marriage of convenience has turned into an uneasy alliance. If only the two leaders could agree on something. Driven by revenge, Conri wants to attack Emperor Anure before the tyrant gets to them first. But Lia needs to keep Calanthe safe, and refuses to sacrifice her kingdom. Their ongoing battle for control has built up tension they’re both more than happy to release in bed, the only place where they find common ground. But Conri and Lia are developing deeper feelings for each other that are complicating matters. In the second book in the Forgotten Empires trilogy, Conri and Lia find their loyalties torn, and with Emperor Anure’s threat growing, will they be able to risk everything with each other before it’s too late?
One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Check out my review on GoodReads over here!

Despite not loving the first book, I ended up enjoying it to an extent and thought I would give the sequel a chance. It seems that Kennedy’s writing and I just don’t jive. First and foremost to understand is that this series is very dialogue-driven. More than half the book is dialogue, and people talking to “figure things out.” The characters go to one place, talk, and then go to another place, and talk. Not much happens beyond that until 70% into the book, where something actually happens. Finally!

The story switches between Con and Lia’s first person POV’s. Both are trying to defeat the evil king Anure, but with different paths. Lia is risk-averse and doesn’t want bloodshed on the land of Calanthe, which she is a part of as an Elemental. Con, on the other hand, is militant and more than happy to use explosives and make sacrifices to get at Anure. This creates some tension as both characters don’t back down in their ideologies and won’t reveal all the facts to the other. Despite being married, both characters hoard secrets like dragons and reluctantly share them throughout the book. You would think more happens, given we’re in a fantasical world, but those were the exciting bits.

Continue reading “The Fiery Crown by Jeffe Kennedy Review | Have You Ever Read A Book That Was Majority Dialogue?”

A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane Review | Romantic Fantasy At Its BEST

A Heart of Blood and Ashes (A Gathering of Dragons, #1)A Heart of Blood and Ashes
Author: Milla Vane
Series: A Gathering of Dragons #1
Release Date: February 4, 2020
Publisher: Berkley
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

A generation past, the western realms were embroiled in endless war. Then the Destroyer came. From the blood and ashes he left behind, a tenuous alliance rose between the barbarian riders of Parsathe and the walled kingdoms of the south. That alliance is all that stands against the return of an ancient evil – until the barbarian king and queen are slain in an act of bloody betrayal.

Though forbidden by the alliance council to kill the corrupt king responsible for his parents’ murders, Maddek vows to avenge them, even if it costs him the Parsathean crown. But when he learns it was the king’s daughter who lured his parents to their deaths, the barbarian warrior is determined to make her pay.

Yet the woman Maddek captures is not what he expected. Though the last in a line of legendary warrior-queens, Yvenne is small and weak, and the sharpest weapons she wields are her mind and her tongue. Even more surprising is the marriage she proposes to unite them in their goals and to claim their thrones—because her desire for vengeance against her father burns even hotter than his own…

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Check out my review on GoodReads over here!

A HEART OF BLOOD AND ASHES was super fun, witty, and action-packed! I honestly stayed away from this book because of the cover, but I ended up really enjoying this “dark barbarian romantic fantasy.” And honestly… that’s a pretty good way to describe it. But rather than the bodice ripping energy I thought it was gonna be (extra points for rape-y scenes and possessive Alpha assholes that act arrogantly (that alliteration though), as well as a heroine who gets walked on by everybody), this book turned out to be the complete opposite. It was sexy and progressive, all while retaining the brutal fantasy world that it takes place in. If you start reading, you literally can’t stop. Each scene is a new adventure that you just want to savor. What can I say? The characters, setting, romance, and storyline in A HEART OF BLOOD AND ASHES were all a hit for me! Continue reading “A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane Review | Romantic Fantasy At Its BEST”