Savage Lands | Book Review

My Review: 4/5 Stars

Title: Savage Lands (Savage Lands, #1)

Author: Stacey Marie Brown

Format: ebook (Kindle Unlimited)

Pages: 308

Categories: Dark Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Almost twenty years after the barrier between Earth and the Otherworld fell in the Fae Wars, Budapest is balancing on the precipice. A battle for dominance is brewing between the elite fae and the privileged humans in Eastern Europe. The prejudice between the sides is bubbling with hate and violence. 

Nineteen-year-old human, Brexley, has grown up in privilege, but not without heartbreak. After being orphaned, she is taken in by General Markos, living in a walled city rife with power grabs and ruthless political games. Then one night the course of her life changes, and Brexley is thrown into the most feared prison in the east. Halalhaz, the House of Death—where you go in but don’t come out. 

She must learn to live with the worst of fae and human criminals. The rule of hierarchy puts humans on the bottom, where the only way to survive each day is to make alliances with the fae.

Here she meets the sexy, vicious legend, Warwick Farkas. A myth among man and fae. He is as brutal, cruel, arrogant, and as lethal as the lore says he is, ruling the prison with unchallenged authority. Brexley can’t deny an intense draw to him, one that might cost her life.
If The Games don’t take her out first—
A fight to the death where only one survives.

  • I haven’t read a paranormal romance in awhile and this hit the spot! There is Brex pining over her childhood love Caden, a normal human guy about to rise in the ranks of his father’s army. And then…there is Warwick, a legend, a myth…nope he’s real, just not fully human.
  • World building ~ I enjoyed this! I love this dystopian/fantasy world of Budapest after the veils come down. Fae and humans hate each other even though the war has ended. I love how dark and gritty it is.
  • Characters ~ The characters are pretty fierce. Brex is a solider, a fighter and she needs that to survive prison time. I’d like to see how her character grows even more. And Warwick? He is lethal and an absolute alpha male. The two of them are intense together. The side characters were great too!
  • Mood ~ so intense. There is prison fighting, and so much sexual tension. It is gritty, raw, dark…and even though it was rough for Brex in this book, she survives it and it makes me wonder what she will endure in book two as they venture into the savage lands.
  • Story ~ very fast paced story and addictive. I want to read book two right now just to get to know these savage lands and find out more about Warwick! And what about Caden? What’s happened to him? So many questions!
  • Triggers: sexual harassment, violence, torture
  • This is the first book I’ve read from this author and now I’m interested in her other books.

This is how I like my paranormal romances, gritty with great world building. I like them intense, with a badass female and an equally deadly alpha male, but the appeal for me is when they can keep up with each other. So far the chemistry between them is off the charts but what about Caden, her childhood love? I don’t know but I’m hooked, give me more savage lands! Glad I gave this book a chance and I look forward to reading more books from this author.

🖤 ~ Yolanda

Aloha Friday | 11/27/20

I hope if you celebrate Thanksgiving that you had a lovely one! Are you do shopping this weekend? I have a 30% shop sale going on HERE if you need stocking stuffers. 🎁

Newly Acquired Books:

Amazon ~ (ebooks)

Amazon ~ Kindle Unlimited

Blog Stuff ~ Shout Out!!

Check out these awesome bloggers! I keep meaning to post links so you can enjoy these awesome blogs that I follow:

TV, Movies, Etc…:

  • Julie and the Phantoms – YES…I watched again…and again LOL. I can’t help myself, Julie and Luke are the cutest thing with all their chemistry. Also their voices duet together SO good. UGH. Plus I love Alex too, he’s the sweetest. 🤷🏻‍♀️ And Julie’s bestie Flynn cracks me up – whatever, it’s nostalgia since I grew up in the 90’s lol, I love the 90’s band thing, the music makes me happy.
  • Over the Moon – YES…AGAIN for like the 10th time maybe, my daughter is obsessed! We break out into a whole dance when Ultrailluminary starts playing. And Gobi seriously is the cutest thing. 💕
  • Vampire Diaries – look…I read the books when they came out in 1991 or whatever. I read them religiously…like, my original copies FELL APART. That’s how much I was obsessed with this series. But when they show came out with the show on CW I was too scared to watch it because what if they ruined it? My sister was obsessed with the show (she had read the books too but not as often as I read them). Needlessly to say…I’m trying to give it a chance…now. HAHA…I got through episode one! 😅 And yes I was all like, but in the book…🤦🏻‍♀️.

I need some Netflix recs! Drop some in the comments please!

Adulting:

  • Tuesday was my late hubby’s 13 year death anniversary. I cannot believe I was 29 when I became a widow and he was only 26. He died in a motorcycle accident back in 2007 after Thanksgiving. For years November was traumatic ~ but this November has been sooo chaotic that it really made me really appreciate the small things. He will always be missed, and he never wanted me to stop living, even when he was alive it was all about let’s go out, let’s LIVE. Anyway this year just put things in perspective…AGAIN. I think this year is the most peaceful I’ve felt about his passing? If that makes sense.
  • Etsy WORK – work, work, work! And shipping stuff.
  • Christmas gifts, some of my resin pieces are gifts for fam and friends. Also used my Cricut finally to make iron decals for canvas make-up bags or masks bags. So I finished those bags up this weekend! 😅

Can you believe this is the last weekend of November? Have a good one!

😘 ~ Yolanda

WWW Wednesday | 11/25/20

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam over on Taking on a World of Words.

The idea is pretty simple, every week you dedicate a post to the three W’s:

What are you currently reading?

What have you just finished reading?

What are you going to read next?

What are you currently reading?

What have you just finished reading?

What are you going to read next?

Hi loves…it’s been SLOW going this week on reading. I’m busy with my Etsy shop, trying to make things for Black Friday. Check out my shop sale here is you are interested: FancifulWish! So I’ve been reading chapter by chapter almost…whew, usually I can finish at least half a book, but I’ve been knocking out quick at night. Anyway…what are you reading?

📚 ~ Yolanda

Top Ten Tuesday | 11/24/20

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Please check out her website for more TTT topics!

This week’s freebie topic is:

Thanksgiving/I’m Thankful for…

  1. My Health ~ after such a wild year, losing my husband’s aunt to covid, hearing of other friends losing their parents to covid, my family and friends getting exposed…I am thankful I’ve stayed healthy to take care of my kids. 🙏🏼
  2. My Family ~ being locked down together makes you appreciate the little things AND learn how to give each other space so you don’t go totally insane together. Also
  3. Books ~ for helping my mind travel when I couldn’t! 📚
  4. My Friends ~ who FaceTimed me and texted me as we got through all the anxiety of this year together!
  5. Coffee ~ for helping me get through my son’s remote schooling. ☕️

Also I am…

Thank you to all who has supported my blog the past year and a half. I appreciate you. 😘 Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Unravel the Dusk (The Blood of Stars, #2) | Book Review

My Rating: 3/5 Stars

Title: Unravel the Dust (The Blood of Stars, #2)

Author: Elizabeth Lim

Format: Hardcover (own)

Pages: 354

Categories: Young Adult, Fantasy

Maia Tamarin’s journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon and the stars has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. The boy she loves is gone, and she is forced to don the dress of the sun and assume the place of the emperor’s bride-to-be to keep the peace.

But the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within. Ever since she was touched by the demon Bandur, she has been changing . . . glancing in the mirror to see her own eyes glowing red, losing control of her magic, her body, her mind. It’s only a matter of time before Maia loses herself completely, but she will stop at nothing to find Edan, protect her family, and bring lasting peace to her country.

YA fantasy readers will love the sizzling forbidden romance, mystery, and intrigue of Unravel the Dusk. 

  • Aesthetics ~ both covers for this duology are gorgeous. I love how the first book was bluish tones and this one is red.
  • I appreciate Maia’s battle with the demon inside her because we all have our own demons we fight daily. So I like how motivational the story is.
  • This story is darker than Spin the Stars, which was filled with political intrigue. In Unravel the Dusk, Maia is fighting a demon, Ewan is gone, and war is breaking out. This book is action packed.
  • Great writing and world-building as usual, it’s what I loved about the first book and it continues here, just with a darker tone. The magic is back but now Maia is dealing with the consequences of it from book one.
  • Oh how I wished I loved this more, but I didn’t. I couldn’t even get into the story, it took me two weeks to finish. Mind you one of those weeks were a very stressful election week in the USA and I gave up reading but I was hoping this book would help me escape from that stress and it did not. I didn’t expect Maia’s journey to get so dark and lonely, but it makes sense since she touched the demon.
  • I wanted more of Edan and Maia but that comes late into the book. But I really wanted him beside her helping her in the beginning. 😒
  • This might be a case of me needing to re-read this book when I’m in the right mood. Even though this book fell flat for me personally, I still am excited to read what this author with be writing next!

I didn’t love Unravel the Dusk as much as I did Spin the Stars, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good duology. Overall, it’s a series about a girl who rises up in a man’s world, tries to help her family and then ends up helping her country. It’s action packed, the message is inspirational and the book covers are gorgeous. I look forward to reading more from this author.

💙 ~ Yolanda

A Deal with the Elf King | Book Review

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Title: A Deal with the Elf King

Author: Elise Kova

Format: eBook (Kindle Unlimited)

Pages: 338

Categories: Romance, New Adult, Fantasy, Stand Alone

The elves come for two things: war and wives. In both cases, they come for death.

Three-thousand years ago, humans were hunted by powerful races with wild magic until the treaty was formed. Now, for centuries, the elves have taken a young woman from Luella’s village to be their Human Queen.

To be chosen is seen as a mark of death by the townsfolk. A mark nineteen-year-old Luella is grateful to have escaped as a girl. Instead, she’s dedicated her life to studying herbology and becoming the town’s only healer.

That is, until the Elf King unexpectedly arrives… for her.

Everything Luella had thought she’d known about her life, and herself, was a lie. Taken to a land filled with wild magic, Luella is forced to be the new queen to a cold yet blisteringly handsome Elf King. Once there, she learns about a dying world that only she can save.

The magical land of Midscape pulls on one corner of her heart, her home and people tug on another… but what will truly break her is a passion she never wanted.

  • Luella is a healer, basically what comes close to a doctor back in her hometown. It’s part of her identity that she doesn’t want to lose just because she is chosen as the next Queen. I like that she holds onto that part of her even though it causes some complications.
  • Eldas the Elf King comes off like a jerk at times but we get a glimpse of him right away being himself with his best friend Rinni. I mean the guy has been basically alone in a castle with one friend all his life! There is a physical attraction between Luella and Eldas but their relationship grows with the two of them opening up to one another. It’s a slow burn romance but the heat between them is undeniable by the end of the story!
  • It’s a romance standalone and a quick read at that. It was straight-forward story with a happy ending. I also like that the author says this is a stand alone but more books will be introduced in this world. I’m a sucker for fantasy romances.
  • I enjoyed all the elements in this light romantic fantasy – it had the enemies to lovers trope, a strong female who was flaws, the friends she makes in Midscape like Willow and of course an unconventional magical wolf pet named Hook.
  • I can’t say there was much action, so if you are looking for that kind of book, this isn’t it. It’s more of a romance. There was a point in the book where Luella and Eldas are looking for clues to break the tradition of finding human Queens and they just do research, on their own – reading from journals. I wanted them to interact more even just to get them bickering about something.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was exactly what I was looking for at the moment, a romantic fantasy with a happily ever after. I look forward to reading more books told in this world.

😘 ~ Yolanda

Aloha Friday | 11/20/20

Another week is almost over and next week is Thanksgiving for us here in the USA. I can’t believe November is almost over. So let’s see what happened this week:

New Books Acquired ~

Amazon – Kindle Unlimited:

Apple Books:

NetGalley:

I haven’t done a book blog tour in awhile so I signed up for 5! All the NetGalley titles acquired except for These Hollow Vows are for book blog tours. I tried to get a variety.

TV Shows & Movies ~

Netflix:

  • Julie and the Phantoms ~ okay I needed something to binge as I worked on my Etsy shop items and put this one on. I love it! It’s a wholesome, feel good, funny show about a girl with a ghost band. The music is great and I’m already listening to it on repeat my apple music app. I need season two!

Adulting ~

  • Trying to finish a bunch of resin pieces for my Etsy shop Black Friday sale next week! 😅
  • Also trying to get started on my Christmas shopping. A lot of online shopping this year. Thank goodness for gift cards.
  • We have Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and my daughter’s 4th birthday coming up, so a lot of things coming up – but super downscaled because of COVID. That’s okay though, we’ve kept our celebrations just to immediate family and it’s been nice that way too.

I hope all of you have a good weekend and please stay safe out there!

🧡 ~ Yolanda

Grown | Book Review

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Title: Grown

Author: Tiffany D. Jackson

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 384

Categories: Contemporary, Young Adult, Sexual Assault, Rape, Mystery, Thriller

Korey Fields is dead.

When Enchanted Jones wakes with blood on her hands and zero memory of the previous night, no one—the police and Korey’s fans included—has more questions than she does. All she really knows is that this isn’t how things are supposed to be. Korey was Enchanted’s ticket to stardom.

Before there was a dead body, Enchanted was an aspiring singer, struggling with her tight knit family’s recent move to the suburbs while trying to find her place as the lone Black girl in high school. But then legendary R&B artist Korey Fields spots her at an audition. And suddenly her dream of being a professional singer takes flight.

Enchanted is dazzled by Korey’s luxurious life but soon her dream turns into a nightmare. Behind Korey’s charm and star power hides a dark side, one that wants to control her every move, with rage and consequences. Except now he’s dead and the police are at the door. Who killed Korey Fields?

All signs point to Enchanted.

  • Aesthetics ~ the cover is gorgeous! I love that mustard yellow and brown combination with the earring carrying the title of the book.
  • This is a murder mystery that really got me hooked on the first page. I didn’t know it would be inspired by R. Kelly’s story and yes, I did watch that docuseries Surviving R. Kelly which aired last year. The author did such a great job following Enchanted and how she is groomed by Korey. She thinks it’s love but it becomes something more dark and sinister the longer she is trapped with him. I was afraid for her and the other girls in his life. I felt the same way as when I watched that docuseries.
  • The story brings up so many issues such as parenting ~ was it Enchanted’s parents to blame for what happened? The artist himself, Korey, obviously had a pattern of this behavior ~ how could people let him do this in front of the whole world? The police ~ why didn’t they believe Enchanted or her parents when they reported something was wrong? Enchanted ~ should she have known better, she knew he was 28? Bottom line, Korey was the adult and the monster.
  • Enchanted is filled with so many dreams of being a singer in the beginning and she gets part of her dream – with a huge cost. She loses herself, her family, her power, and the little control she had over life. Korey was scary because he came off so perfect at the start, in the end he was the boogie man in the closet.
  • Triggers: physical, emotional and sexual abuse, being drugged, grooming, kidnapping
  • There was a point in the book when Enchanted’s sanity is questioned – especially when it comes to her friend Gab. Even I thought I was losing my mind as it confused me for a moment as to what the author was trying to do with that moment.

Whether you know the R. Kelly story or not, this book is a powerful read. Enchanted’s story is scary and heartbreaking, I felt scared and trapped with her. How do we let these predators get away with so much? If you can handle the heavy issues in this book, read it.

💛 ~ Yolanda

WWW Wednesday | 11/18/20

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam over on Taking on a World of Words.

The idea is pretty simple, every week you dedicate a post to the three W’s:

What are you currently reading?

What have you just finished reading?

What are you going to read next?

What are you currently reading?

What have you just finished reading?

What are you going to read next?

What are you reading right now or just finished?

😘 ~ Yolanda

Monthly Wrap Up | October 2020

I just realized, midway into November that I didn’t post an October wrap up because I was that crazily stressed out about our elections! 😲

So let’s see what I read in October:

Warriors of Wing and Flame by. Sara B. Larson – 4/5

The Code for Love and Heartbreak by. Jillian Cantor – 3/5

Daughters of Jubilation by. Kara Lee Corthron – 3.5/5

The Song of the Marked by. S.M. Gaither – 4/5

Kingdom of Sea and Stone by. Mara Rutherford – 3/5

A Golden Fury by. Samantha Coroe – 3.5/5

The Shadows Between Us by. Tricia Levenseller – 3/5

The Midnight Lie by. Marie Rutkoski – 3.5/5

Kingdom of the Wicked by. Kerri Maniscalco – 4/5

The Ravens by. Kass Morgan & Danielle Paige – 3.5/5

The Whisper Man by. Alex North 3.5/5

A Curse of Ash & Embers by. Jo Spurrier – 3/5

Heart Bones by. Colleen Hoover – 4/5

Skyhunter by. Marie Lu – 3.5/5

Shifter Wars by. Kelly St. Clare – 3.5/5

Send Me Their Souls by. Sara Wolf – 3.5/5

The Inheritance Games by. Jennifer Lynn Barnes – 5/5

That was October! Pretty sure November will be WAYYYYY less haha, it’s been a wild month.

😘 ~ Yolanda