When Mum died, I inherited a lot more than a pack of lies.
I landed a $410,000 debt. Discovered her previous surname. And her real place of birth.
Desperate to uncover the truth, I drive to a tiny dot on the map called Deception Valley.
Coincidental name? Nope.
There, I find her secret family—because she had one of those too.
How many lies are we at? Honestly, I’ve lost count, but local gossip captures my attention. Apparently, Mum’s other family play laser tag every Wednesday. Not even joking. Laser tag.
What the hell is this place?
In hindsight, the massive guy with honey irises was my first major clue. Unusual eyes for a human, right? Perfect eyes for a werewolf.
But sexy supernaturals, thongs, and mounting financial strain aside, Mum’s past is buried somewhere in this valley, and I need to dig up the truth or find a way to live with her lies.
What do you do when neither option will leave you unscathed?
World Building ~ if you read Kelly St. Clare’s previous series Vampire Towers, just know this one is similar except with werewolves and Laser Tag. I read these series because it’s so unique to base the plot around a game. It’s creative and holds my interest. The story takes place in Deception Valley but this quaint town isn’t all that it seems. The “laser tag” game between humans and werewolves are action packed.
Characters ~ Andie is struggling with her mom’s death and debt, trying to finish college and just found out she has family in Deception Valley. She isn’t quite a badass yet, as she’s learning the ropes about laser tag and the war between the two sides. Alaric/Sascha is a Sigma – he gets what he wants and yes he wants Andie. Their connection is electric but Andie fights it as long as she can, but you can’t do much when you are fated. I liked the supporting cast also in the werewolf clan and the human one.
Romance ~ Andie and Sascha are inevitable, fated mates but sort of like Vampire Towers where they had levels to achieve mate status, it happens in Shifter Wars also. But the built-up tension between them is definitely there.
Writing ~ I enjoy this author’s writing because of the humor and the stories are fast paced. I read this in one night and am ready to read book two when it publishes. It’s total escapism.
Triggers: stalking, toxic relationship, grief
It’s got a cliffhanger ending – but book two comes out in December, yay!
Solid start to a new series and I just enjoy how the author keeps things creative with throwing a game into the story. It’s creative, unique and keeps things fresh! I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
Categories: contemporary, romance, new adult, poverty, drug abuse
Life and a dismal last name are the only two things Beyah Grim’s parents ever gave her. After carving her path all on her own, Beyah is well on her way to bigger and better things, thanks to no one but herself.
With only two short months separating her from the future she’s built and the past she desperately wants to leave behind, an unexpected death leaves Beyah with no place to go during the interim. Forced to reach out to her last resort, Beyah has to spend the remainder of her summer on a peninsula in Texas with a father she barely knows. Beyah’s plan is to keep her head down and let the summer slip by seamlessly, but her new neighbor Samson throws a wrench in that plan.
Samson and Beyah have nothing in common on the surface.
She comes from a life of poverty and neglect; he comes from a family of wealth and privilege. But one thing they do have in common is that they’re both drawn to sad things. Which means they’re drawn to each other. With an almost immediate connection too intense for them to continue denying, Beyah and Samson agree to stay in the shallow end of a summer fling. What Beyah doesn’t realize is that a rip current is coming, and it’s about to drag her heart out to sea.
My Attention: read in one night
World Building: Kentucky to Texas
Writing Style: easy to read, good character development, emotional
Crazy in Love: yes
Triggers: drug abuse, child neglect, broken family, death, overdose, poverty
Beyah goes from her mom over-dosing to living with a father she hardly knows. Beyah is a strong character for someone who has been broken and damaged all her life. Her story is heart-breaking. I just wanted good things for her.
Samson is mysterious and handsome. I liked how Beyah judges and we as the readers start doing it too because we only know what they know of him. He’s hiding a lot of secrets which come out in a shocking way.
It’s all about Beyah and Samson. Beyah finds all her guards giving way the more she spends time with Samson. They are both damaged and that’s why they are drawn to each other. From the moment they met it was intense between them.
The twist in the end was heartbreaking. But I’m glad Beyah did what she did.
Some tough topics are covered in this book: poverty, drug abuse, sexual assault – this book is about survival and the kids that fall through the cracks in society. What happens to them? How does someone like Beyah who had an addict mother, take another path in life – talk about strength and determination.
The way how Beyah didn’t tell her dad that her mom died, bugged me! Like…that would be the first thing I’d say, I think. But I understand her secrecy, she was trying to protect herself the only way she knew how. But seriously…the way she tells him – I guess I wanted more of a conversation on that between her and her dad.
Heart Bones is heartbreaking. We have Beyah and Samson who has been beaten by life at such a young age, they have both done everything to survive (good and bad). They find each other in all their damaged state and fall in love. I honestly still feel bad thinking about Samson after the story – but glad it had a happy ending.
Title: The Song of the Marked (Shadows and Crowns, #1)
Author: S.M. Gaither
Format: eBook (Kindle Unlimited)
Categories: Fantasy, New Adult, Magic, Gods, Enemies to Lovers
A Devastating Sickness
For decades, the Kethran Empire has been plagued by a strange illness that leaches the very life and soul from its victims.
The Girl Who Survived
Casia is one of the Fade-Marked—one of the few people who caught this sickness and lived. Why she lived is a mystery even to her and the outcast crew of mercenaries she calls her family. It also makes her an intriguing target for the young, enigmatic king-emperor, who claims he wants to work alongside her to find a cure.
Unfortunately, working alongside him also means working with the handsome but infuriating captain of one of the most prestigious branches of the Kethran Army.
A Soldier With No Past
This infuriating Captain Elander also has secrets: A past that Cas can’t seem to uncover, a powerful but strange brand of magic, and a deep distrust of the very monarch that he’s sworn to serve. She feels oddly drawn to him in spite of these things…
But can she really trust him?
The Fate of an Empire
As the bodies pile up and strange monsters begin to wreak havoc throughout the realms, Cas and Elander will have to work together to protect their world whether they trust one another or not. Because one thing is clear: Something ancient and evil is stirring in the shadows of Kethra.
And the empire will not survive its full unleashing.
But how can they save a world where nothing and no one is what they seem to be— including Cas herself?
My Attention: read in one day
World Building: epic – the Kethran Empire is ruled by a King-Emperor who wants to eradicate people with magic, and there is a Fading Sickness infecting the kingdom and they have to find out the source of the illness
Writing Style: flowed very well
Crazy in Love: enemies to lovers
Creativity: I enjoyed this world of magic and Gods
Triggers: violence, thieving, anxiety
My Takeaway: Definite Sarah J. Maas vibes and I’m here for it!
Love the cover and usually I’m wary about KU Fantasy ebooks because I find them way too short, I mean yes I love that the next installment usually comes out in 3 months but THIS one, is a nice lengthy 500+ which surprised me. I was reading it without knowing the page count and was wondering why it was taking me so long to read (not long…but usually I can devour these short book series in a few hours and usually can binge the whole series in one night). So I am impressed with this one!
There is Throne of Glass vibes all over this book BUT there are enough difference to make it exciting. Cas reminds me of Celaena (badass heroine, etc…) but I like that Cas is different enough with her bouts of severe anxiety and needing to take care of her foster mom, Asra. Cas has a fun crew of magic wielders around her, all with different personalities.
The world building is addictive: there is a Fading Sickness in the empire, and Cas is one of the few who has survived it. Why? I love the process of finding out why and that plot twist in the end. Total cliffhanger!
Enemies to lovers, which is my fave – Elander is dark, blessed by a Death God, and their banter was fun. He was mysterious and she is reckless which makes them a hot combo. And yes there is a sex scene, they need more haha but…we shall see what happens between them!
This story was a fun ride, with villains, secrets, fights, danger, Gods – so much to digest but it’s an exciting start to the series.
There are a lot of things to discover yet, like Darkhand’s role in the beginning and then he disappeared. I’m sure the story will come back to that but he kind of was introduced and then forgotten.
Varen the king-emperor…oh boy, so what will happen now that the truth has been revealed?
And Elander…just give me more of him and Cas, and I’ll be happy!
This is the first book I’ve read from S.M. Gaither and I know it won’t be the last. I’ll have to binge her previous series! If you like stories like the Throne of Glass series, you will enjoy The Song of the Marked. I know I’m ready for book two to arrive but I have to wait until January! I was craving a fantasy with an enemies to lovers romance, lots of action and detailed world building and this totally hit the spot.
After the Prince of Penryth saved her from captivity, seventeen-year-old Haven Ashwood spends her days protecting the kind prince and her nights secretly fighting the monsters outside the castle walls.
When one of those monsters kidnaps Prince Bell, Haven must ally with Archeron Halfbane and his band of immortals to rescue her friend.
Her quest takes her deep into the domain of a warped and vicious queen where the rules are simple: break her curse or die.
Lost in a land of twisted magic and fabled creatures, Haven finds herself unprepared, not just for the feelings she develops for Archeron, but for the warring powers raging inside her.
Her rare and forbidden type of magic may be their only hope . . . but mixing light and dark comes with a steep price.
Faced with impossible love, heartbreaking betrayals, and a queen intent on destroying the realm, only one thing remains certain.
Haven must shatter the curse or it will devour everything she loves.
Author: Audrey Grey
Format: eBook (Kindle Unlimited)
Categories: Fantasy, New Adult, Romance
I love Haven and Bell’s friendship. Haven is Prince Bellamy’s guard but she is also his best friend. She’s very protective of him her sole purpose in this series is to save him. I mean, that’s devotion!
Haven is a fighter but at some points she’s so cocky around more powerful beings than her. She’s rash at times with major tunnel vision (saving Bell) but Archeron, the Sun Lord is right to be aggravated with her at times. As for her feelings about him…warning, there IS a love triangle in this series.
The world building is detailed – we have mortal kingdoms, and immortal kingdoms. There is also the Netherworld which Stolas rules. The magic system is based on rune magic. There is a quest to save Prince Bell and to break a curse so the stories moves along quickly, plus at barely over 300 pages – it’s a quick read.
Triggers: violence and self-harm (because of how the rune magic is used)
My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
Title: Cursebreaker (Kingdom of Runes, #2)
All magic has a price.
Haven survived the Devourers, but she isn’t any closer to breaking the curse. Meanwhile, her forbidden magic rages brighter and more dangerous every day.
To control her powers and stand a chance against the Shade Queen, Haven made a bargain with two enemy immortals. Now her waking hours are spent fighting alongside the Sun Lord, but her dreams belong to the Shade Lord.
Only the closer she ventures into the wicked Shadow Kingdom the more her magic shows itself—and the more she struggles with whom to trust. The golden but wounded Sun Lord or the darkly charismatic Shade Lord.
Both are off-limits.
And both have the ability to save her . . . or destroy her.
With the Shade Queen closing in and Bell’s time nearly up, Haven will sacrifice everything to break the curse—but will it be enough to stop the mortal realm from falling into darkness forever?
Author: Audrey Grey
Format: eBook (Kindle Unlimited)
Categories: Fantasy, New Adult, Romance
Bell has always been in Haven’s protective shadow even though he is a Prince and will rule one day. He is not good at fighting and always had Haven do it for him – so in his captivity he struggles but learns he can be without Haven. Bell is learning to find his own strength which is wonderful. He also meets the person who created the curse on the land in the first place.
We learn more about how the curse was created and more about Ravenna and her evil mother.
Haven gets into more harrowing danger and her hurt people, which annoyed me at times. When will she learn?! Ugh, that was frustrating about her. Her focus is still saving Bell but Archeron and she have an attraction happening. And the others in the group are becoming her friend. She shows heart in trying to help them instead of trying to deceive them. We learn about her past with evil Daimus as her captor. And then there is Stolas…uh huh…I can kind of guess how this is going to end.
This book kept giving me ACOTAR vibes…like MAJOR ACOTAR vibes with the whole Archeron and Stolas thing (Tamlin vs Rhys) and the curse. Like I just knew, she would end up with Stolas (Rhys)…I mean, at this point it’s reading like a fan fiction ACOTAR book! It bugged me but I love ACOTAR so much that I kept reading haha.
My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
Title: King Maker (Kingdom of Runes, #3)
They broke the curse, but at what cost?
Haven and her crew may be considered heroes, but they arrive back in Penryth harboring dangerous secrets. Plagued by nightmares, Haven struggles to control her newfound magic while Bell shrinks under the weight of their shared lie.
When an emissary from Solissia shows up in Penryth and drafts Bell in a magical tournament, Haven is once again forced to follow the prince to foreign lands, this time to the bloodthirsty court of Archeron’s mother.
Trapped in a shifting landscape of dark politics, duplicitous immortals, and cruel sovereigns, Haven fights to keep Bell alive all without revealing their secret. But a terrible evil brews on the horizon. One that threatens the very fabric of the realm.
Haven might be their only hope of stopping the impending darkness. But first she must learn to accept her own darkness and follow her heart—no matter where it leads.
Author: Audrey Grey
Format: eBook (Kindle Unlimited)
Pages: digital – ? /Amazon print version says 640
Categories: Fantasy, New Adult, Romance
And yes…there goes the ACOTAR love triangle dilemma -Archeron becomes a villain, Stolas is now the hero. SIGH. I mean, I was loving Stolas anyway but it was just so similar. Did it really have to happen? Archeron was there for her in the beginning and he has to go out like this? Evil, broken hearted, and disfigured – damn.😔
Since the curse was broken in book two, we are now introduced to Archeron’s kingdom and his family. There is a trial, and the winner gets to rule over all nine kingdoms (and yes the Nine reminds me of LOTR! 🤦🏻♀️). This series actually reminds me a lot of other books out there.
I did love learning about Stolas’ sister who is as sassy as they come, but hey she is a Queen. Also Haven finally has more friends than just Bell now, yay – and her friendship with Bell gets tested but it needed to happen. Bell needed to come out through some struggles on his own and Haven needed to let him do it.
Despite the similarities to other books, it’s an entertaining series and I’m bummed the next book isn’t until November.
Overall, the three books in the series I read gives off major ACOTAR vibes with some differences, like this one has wyverns and rune magic. Haven does grow…slowly, she definitely learns the hard way which is so frustrating. She is not my favorite female lead, the battle in the end worked because she had help from her friends. I do enjoy the rune magic aspect of this world and how Haven has both dark and light magic. Will I read the next books, YES, I need to find out what happens with Archeron, how low will he go? There is also still a battle with Daimus coming, he definitely needs to be eliminated.
In a destroyed world plagued with pestilence, assassins, thieves, and the Tainted–mutated fae-like humans with a penchant for abduction–nothing is easy. It’s brutal, deadly, and most often, short.
My father has three rules to survive the apocalypse; keep your head down, work hard, and never leave the safety of Harbor. Following his rules isn’t as easy as it seems–especially when tricked into breaking them.
Blackmailed into attending at party outside of the walls didn’t seem so bad–until all hell broke loose and I was left in the clutches of a dragon lord. I thought I knew who my enemies were: starvation, infection, and the Tainted.
I was wrong. That’s why I never saw it coming.
The death. The lies. The complete betrayal.
No one said love wouldn’t destroy you.
The Dominion of Ash series takes on a dystopian, urban fantasy theme. Earth has been ravaged bay a virus that has mutated the DNA of humans. Hazel lives in a compound where no one has been “tainted” by the virus but outside of a world is a one where many Tainted consider their mutation a gift. So there is a VERY clear divide between the two human species. We follow Hazel who is thrown, literally, into the world of the tainted and it’s frightening. She fights for her survival as she Noah who is the leader of the tainted compound she is being held at.
I like the world building and the idea of virus mutating our DNA, I mean anything is possible! She comes across animals who are trained as well. There is a lot of action as Hazel is trying to survive the desert and trying to get back home. Hazel is a sheltered girl who gets a big wake up call when she is left to die.
A lone girl in a dangerous world shows how women are prey for predators and she comes across a few from both the Untouched she lives with and the Tainted as well. The books in this series are short, so it is a very quick read, and I found Hazel’s journey from sheltered girl to meeting a whole community of Tainted interesting because she has to self-analyze her prejudices and yet survive.
There are a bunch of triggers in this book: sexual assault and violence being the main ones.
My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2
Title: The Exiled (Dominion of Ash, Book #2)
Author: Frost Kay
Format: eBook (Kindle Unlimited)
Categories: Urban Fantasy, Dystopia, YA/NA
She got caught. Again.
After a disastrous second escape attempt, Hazel finds herself blood indebted to her savior – Noah – but he’s no saint.
Desperate to repay her debt, she begrudgingly offers her skills as payment if she’s allowed to visit home one last time. Her wish is granted but at a steep cost. What is supposed to be a saving grace turns out to be a nightmare.
The monsters are right. Ignorance means death and blood ties are worthless.
Be careful what you wish for.
Okay so I read these two books in one night because like I said, they are SO short…this one being only 217 pages!
Hazel is with the Tainted and she is basically wanting to die than live with them. I’ll say one thing about her – she’s a fighter. Frustratingly so…to the point of harming herself. Hazel learns more about the tainted that have gone out of their way to keep her alive but her main goal is to escape and go back home to her family. She fights, she schemes, she get’s under Noah’s skin and finally – finally we get to see more of the attraction between them, because we know it’s gonna be good between them, right?
My favorite part of this series so far is watching Hazel have more women figures in her life, like Noah’s abuela (grandmother), she is awesome. Hazel hasn’t had a mother and was raised by men so this girl really needs a female figure in her life. When Hazel finally gets her wish and leaves the compound she finds out more hard lessons back out in the wilderness and about a new threat and new war about to start between the Untouched and Tainted. Who’s side will she be on? This one ended in a major cliffhanger and I can’t believe I have to wait to see what happens. 😫
More triggers in this one: assault, violence, self harm
Categories: Contemporary, Coming of Age, Young Adult, Romance
For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.
Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.
When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.
Emergency Contact is the first book from Mary H.K. Choi. I read Permanent Record first and then saw Emergency Contact on sale and decided to buy it. Don’t be fooled by this gorgeous pink and gold cover, this story gets deep into issues I wasn’t expecting.
Penny is an antisocial, snarky, judgmental freshman in college but underneath she’s got issues. She was raised in a single parent home, with a mom who is very popular in town – which Penny despises.
Sam has a past too, with an alcoholic mom who didn’t do much mothering. He’s barely making ends me, struggling to take college classes and survive while dealing with ex-girlfriend drama.
Penny and Sam become each other’s Emergency Contact in this coming of age story.
The cover is so pretty but the story itself has more going on beneath the surface.
Penny is an interesting character and even can be described as “unlikable” – but I think that’s what I liked about her! She’s snarky, judgmental about others and herself, and antisocial. But she also judges herself due to life experiences – a few of them traumatic. Penny doesn’t even feel like there is anything about her to like and that made me sad. I LOVE that she had an emergency pack on her at all times! And she is passionate about writing. When she gets into college and lives with a roommate, we see her open up little by little – she’s awkward and fakes it sometimes but that’s real.
Sam, on the other hand, I just wanted to reach in the book and help him out. He cries a lot, but it’s because he’s not in good shape, he had a horrible childhood, he’s addicted to his ex-girlfriend and maybe he’s an alcoholic too though he’s quit since he quit her. Sam is barely making it on his own but he doesn’t give up, because he finally is texting someone, his emergency contact, Penny. Sam has panic attacks, he’s depressed, he’s stressed but texting Penny is a lifeline for him.
Like her other book, Permanent Record, anxiety is present in Emergency Contact. We see Sam go through a panic attack to the point he thinks he is dying. I love that the author brings up anxiety in young people, especially in college aged students because they are adults but learning how to adult. And for kids like Sam who totally get off track and try to get back on…it’s hard.
Penny and Sam’s relationship is a slow burn romance. Clearly she’s crushing over him badly, but he has an ex-girlfriend that he’s trying to cut off ties with so they keep it safe with the texting friendship. I liked seeing how their relationship develops in a safe space and then finally taking the next step at the end.
I wish Sam could have reached out to Jude more since they are or was, semi-related. But I get it, that’s a complicated relationship too but I definitely felt for Jude. By the end of the book, I kind of want to know more of Jude’s story and hope she gets her own book.
The mom/daughter relationship really hit me in this book. Penny comes off like a brat to her mom, but it goes way back for Penny, she has abandonment issues! Mallory of all people gives her insight into moms and the way they act. I’m a mom now, my daughter is only three but that moment Celeste (Penny’s mom) says she was dreading the day her daughter would hate her…😞. Ugh, my fear.
I love this book because I think it’s characters and situations are so realand messy. I felt like I knew these people, and in my life yes I’ve known people just like them in identical situations! It shines a light on the anxiety those eighteen and over can feel as they become “adults” but still need help from their parents and for those who have no help? 😞 It’s a hard road. On top of that dealing with family problems, self-esteem issues, trauma and everything else? We ALL need an emergency contact. I’m so glad Penny and Sam had each other, in their safe spaces on their phones, even if it was just to say hi or just nonsense. Just knowing someone is there on the other side willing to respond sometimes feels like everything at that moment. I’m definitely glad I bought this one.
Categories: Witches, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult/New Adult
Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.
Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.
Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.
The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.
And love makes fools of us all.
I heard great things about this book but wow when it actually meets expectations, it’s a glorious feeling.
I started this book at 8pm and finished right before midnight. 😱
Oh the feels! Oh my heart. It was everything I wanted in a book.
Louise le Blanc, or Lou, is a witch hiding from her coven, and now she is living as a thief in Cesarine. Not only does Lou need to hide from her coven, she needs to stay far away from witch hunters called Chasseurs. Chasseurs are devout men of the church, and their main goal is to eradicate witches from this world. Lou runs into Reid and the rest is history.
Lou is so funny, sassy, brave, charming and so full of life. I love her! She has a foul mouth, curses a lot, sings bawdy songs 🤣 but she’s also compassionate. Then there is Reid who is so devout and chivalrous, he doesn’t even swear, and he is the captain of the Chasseurs. It’s a fun enemies to lovers romance relationship. When these two are together it’s just so funny how they get under each other’s skin. I love seeing them drive one another crazy! But when they finally open themselves to one another…
And I categorized this book as new adult…because there is definitely a sex scene and it’s beautiful. 😍😅
But that’s not the only love that gave me the feels in this book, Lou and her best-friend Coco, was friendship goals. These two together are such badass females, but so full of heart! Coco is Lou’s ride or die, sister from another mister, partner in crime, best friend and I LOVE them together. There is a celebration of female, in this book and the Chasseurs are so hellbent on thinking women and witches are evil, or that women had to be chaste and pure.
And the rest of the cast, was amazing as well. There are villains, magic, secrets, betrayals, broken hearts and mended ones too. This story made me laugh, it made me feel giddy and I think I even teared up at some parts. This world of witches and chasseurs just sucked me in, it took me on such an enjoyable, exciting and emotional reading journey. My heart was full at the end!
Then the ending was like a mic drop which made me silently cackle in delight (because everyone was asleep in the house!). YES, please give me more COCO in book two. I can’t wait to meet her coven! I went to sleep SMILING. That’s how good this book made me feel. It was fun in an unexpected way.
It’s one of my favorite reads this year and I have a feeling it’s a book I’ll be rereading a bunch before the sequel comes out next year.
Categories: Coming of Age, New Adult, Romance, Drug Abuse, Sexual Situations
Not all love stories are written the same way. Ours had torn chapters, missing paragraphs, and a bittersweet ending.
Luna Rexroth is everyone’s favorite wallflower.
Sweet. Caring. Charitable. Quiet. Fake. Underneath the meek, tomboy exterior everyone loves (yet pities) is a girl who knows exactly what, and who, she wants—namely, the boy from the treehouse who taught her how to curse in sign language. Who taught her how to laugh. To live. To love. Knight Cole is everyone’s favorite football hero. Gorgeous. Athletic. Rugged. Popular. Liar.
This daredevil hell-raiser could knock you up with his gaze alone, but he only has eyes for the girl across the street: Luna.
But Luna is not who she used to be. She doesn’t need his protection anymore. When life throws a curveball at All Saints’ golden boy, he’s forced to realize not all knights are heroes.
Sometimes, the greatest love stories flourish in tragedy.
Broken Knight is the second book in the All Saints High series by L.J. Shen was actually one I was looking forward to because of Luna. When Luna appeared in book one, Pretty Reckless, I was fascinated with her because she’s mute.
And this book started off cute with childhood memories of Knight Cole and Luna Rexroth and I was feeling all soft about them and my heart was saying “awww“, you know? They are the meant-to-be type of love, come on, you know those. So things looked promising. Then it would go back into present day and I was like…ugh….
It is a new adult novel, because though Knight and his friends are in high school, they live pretty fast when it comes to sex and girls. Knight is the quarterback on the high school football team, the girls love him, but he loves Luna – except…she doesn’t know it since he has girls hanging around him all the time. Luna is a year older than Knight and about to start college, and she’s always loved Knight, but knows about his reputation. She is a selective mute due to some severe anxiety and traumatic experiences in her childhood. She and Knight have been best friends since…forever. So why can’t they figure out how to get together?
Drama. Angst. Lots and lots of it.
Usually, I’m ready for the broken characters from this author, she’s known for them in her books. But I think this book was angst overload. Or am I just too old for this book, or series because these are high school “kids”. I think at one point in my life, I would have gobbled this book up – but I’m in a stage of being over BS. 😂 If the point of the book was the message that LIFE IS SHORT…then damn it, Luna and Knight could have figured out how to be honest with each other since day one, I think.
They both love each other, but they have that back and forth relationship, you know what I’m talking about? They miscommunicate, then Knight takes his revenge on Luna, then Luna does something because she assumes (but do I blame her for thinking Knight is a sleeping around? Hell no.) The characters are young, coming of age and dealing with a lot of things outside of each other. Anyway for two people who are the supposedly the best of friends and communicate without words so well…it was frustrating to see them not be on the same page when it came to one another.
I didn’t read Knight’s parents’ story which is Ruckus. But I felt like I caught up on it by reading the book. That part of the story was sad, but even then I didn’t even shed a tear because the back and forth with Knight and Luna was too much for me. I read past midnight and realized, damn, the story had 10% to go and you know what? I shut my fire tablet down. I was done for the night…I didn’t want more back and forth, I was tired. Usually with 10% to go, I power through…not with this one.
I picked it up the next day and yeah…the ending was bittersweet with a happily ever after but I didn’t feel happy. I’m glad it came to an end. Glad Luna and Knight figured things out – they got the sex figured out for sure. It did make me wonder what will happen with Dixie, Knight’s real mom…her story was sad and the way Knight treated her at times made me want to slap him. I wanted to slap a lot of people in this book. 🤣
If you are a fan of characters that are broken, hot messes (I will admit that guy on the book cover is pretty hot 🤷🏻♀️)…with tons of angst, you will definitely like this book. For me it was just okay, I may read Vaughn’s story – it’s kinda interesting already, but I have no interest in Hunter’s story haha. We shall see, this is probably a mood read kind of thing for me, so that will probably determine if I continue the series.
Disclaimer: **I received this book free from The Parliament House in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**
Most writers choose the endings to their stories . . . most writers are not Weavers.
Laney Holden is a freshman at Madison College whose life goes from normal to paranormal in a matter of seconds. When the antagonist in the book she’s writing shoves her down the stairs at the subway station, she learns she is a Weaver. Weavers bridge the narrow gap between fantasy and reality, bringing their words to life.
Laney soon meets William whom she also suspects is a character from her book—one she’s had a mad crush on since her pen hit the paper. But he’s in danger as her antagonist reveals a whole different ending planned for Laney’s book that involves killing William. Laney must use her writing to save the people closest to her by weaving the most difficult words she will ever write. THE WEAVER is the first installment of The Weaver trilogy. It is an NA paranormal romance set in a small town on the north shore of Boston. It will leave you wanting more.
Thank you to The Parliament House for giving me an opportunity to read and review The Weaver.
First off, the cover is so gorgeous. I wanted to read this book because of the cover alone. But once I started The Weaver, I could not stop. Its premise is very creative.
It starts off with what seems like a romance story between Laney and her childhood best friend, Jason. He’s a good-looking jock that all the girls want to date but he already has a girlfriend. Laney is more of an introvert and loves to write. They couldn’t be more different but they’ve known each other for so long, naturally there are some feelings between them. Laney has been working on one story in particular and the story is set in the 1700’s, in colonial America.
But one day the villain from her book appears in the her world and Laney doesn’t know what to think. Then another character shows up and Laney thinks she’s losing it. How can her characters come to life? She finds out she is a Weaver, someone who has the power to create stories and make characters come to life. When the villain starts making threats towards her and the people she cares about, she starts to take things much more seriously.
I love the creativity of this story. The author did a really good job at explaining how the powers of a weaver work and the magic that is involved with it. There were many times I wanted to yell at Laney to just do the obvious and write something to destroy the villain but I can see how doing it was a dilemma for her. She is the creator of her precious story and the consequences of what could happen if she did change the story was new territory for her. Oh the irony of me wanting to change elements in the story to help the characters out! Don’t we all do that while reading books though?
The book blurb says this is NA (New Adult) but I think it read more like a young adult novel. I expect New Adult stories to have more physical and steamy sexual situations but this book was pretty clean. The romance that blossoms between Laney and her hero is very sweet. They are all in college but to me it felt like they were still in high school. Also, the new friends she makes who are Weavers are high school students, so it just felt like a book for a younger audience.
Overall, The Weaver is a story that weaves elements of romance, history and fantasy to give us a book that is creative and engaging. I look forward to reading the next book in the series!
Categories: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Faeries
Sometimes the ones who save us are the ones we need to fear the most.
In a world where dark faeries have stepped in to save the planet from humanity’s mistakes, seventeen-year-old December Thorne is nothing but a shadow. Shunned by her peers, bullied at school, and paid a little too much attention by her sleazy foster father, she lives in constant fear and perpetual solitude.
Until the day everything changes.
Offered a scholarship to the prestigious Oberon Academy, December finds herself living in a whole new world. Boundless food, clean clothes, a safe place to sleep, and the potential for true friendship make her new life seem almost too good to be true—but the school has a secret.
The truth is, Oberon Academy isn’t just a prep school for society’s elite. It’s a training ground for a secret race of magical beings no one knows exists. And they’re preparing for war.
Filled with fear and denial, December has a choice to make. She can either return to her pathetic life with her dangerous foster parents, try to survive on her own, or make Oberon Academy her home and discover the truth about who, and what she really is.
And that truth could save the world.
If you know me by now, through my blog that is, you know I’m a sucker for “Academy” books. There are a bit way too much of it showing up on my Kindle Unlimited “recommended for you” list and the covers all look alike. 😩So I was drawn to this one because the cover looked a tad bit different
I just read it this morning, past midnight for sure…more like, I woke up at 4:30am and couldn’t go back to sleep so I grabbed my Kindle and was done with this by 7am! Haha, then my kids woke up.
It’s a quick read and only 252 pages. What I liked about it? I like that it’s a take on Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare because when I was in middle grade, I was kind of obsessed with this story. King Oberon, Queen Titania and Puck, I love them all! Mind you I thought the word Oberon in the title was just coincidence but when other familiar names started popping up I was like…😯. The Sylphs at Oberon Academy are like the good fairies who like to have fun, and most of them are blond. At that part, I was like, really? 🤔 Whereas the Zephyrs who helped Earth when humans were on the verge of world destruction have black eyes, black hair and black wings. Which December Thorne an enigma.
December, has had a rough childhood, bouncing from one foster home to another. But she gets a chance to escape her current situation when she is accepted into Oberon Academy. She has black hair, blue eyes and she has black wings. From then on it’s the predictable tropes that happen in this genre – popular boy falls for different, new girl, and then she finds she has more powers than anyone else and there is a villain to defeat.
But I eat this stuff up like ice cream. I can’t stop (well I am lactose intolerant now, so I do know I can’t consume ice cream like before 😩) – and the stories in these academy series by indie authors on Kindle Unlimited are usually so short, it’s easy to consume so fast.
I liked December and watching her grow from invisible girl to the girl dating the Oberon heir, hottie faerie Easton. The attraction between them is definitely bordering on New Adult status. Haha…there isn’t any sex though if you are wondering. I also enjoyed seeing her find a best friend in Shaela, because friendship is important. I think all of the characters could use a bit more depth maybe – it seemed too easy that she meets Easton and that’s it. I don’t even think she met another teenage boy at this academy. Not even Easton had friends!
Since this was only book one, I wonder if December will be driven to the dark side of the Zephyrs at all in future books, because that would be interesting! Anyway, this book was light reading, predictable, yes, but I enjoyed it and hopefully it can only get better from here on.