book review, E-book, kindle unlimited, New adult, paranormal, romance, urban fantasy

Blood Casino | Book Review

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Title: Blood Casino (Vampires & Vices, #1)

Author: Nina Walker

Format: eBook (Kindle Unlimited)

Pages: 324

Publication Date: 1/28/21

Categories: Urban Fantasy, Supernaturals, Romance, Vampires

Keep your cards close and your enemies closer.

At least that’s what my mom always told me. Becoming a vampire hunter was never in my cards, but it is now that she needs my help. A decade ago vampires seized control of the bars, casinos, and the dark underbelly of society. Now they deal in addiction and bargain with blood, and humans over twenty-five can’t fight back against their compulsion. It’s made my mother vulnerable––the only family I have left.

To save her, I’m forced to make a deal with the devil––one who lives above a casino, wears a crown, and wants to drink my blood. Adrianos Teresi may be dangerous and alluring but I’ve got a stake hidden up my sleeve. I’ll go all in and play his game, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

What I don’t expect? The heart that needs guarding is my own.

  • Vampires and gambling definitely go together. In Blood Casino, the stakes are high ~ Evangeline is trying to save her mother from a gambling addiction, and who runs the casinos? Vampires. A vampire prince in this case, named Adrian. He is centuries old, deadly but looks 25, uh huh ~ you know that vampire genes don’t age haha. The hate is mutual between but they keep running into each other.
  • Love the setting of New Orleans. I went there once as a teen and I still remember the French Quarter vividly, it’s definitely a place you can’t forget. But the whole seedy, dark vibe makes New Orleans the perfect place for supernaturals to thrive.
  • Adrian is not a nice guy ~ he’s a vampire who’s been a live a long, long time. He kills in front of Eva, threatens her with violence, is violent, and scheming. Exactly what my image of vampires were like before Twilight lol…no hate on Twilight, I love Twilight, but before that…the vampires I knew burned in the sun, they did not sparkle.
  • I like action. Eva’s friends are vampire hunters but all is not what it seems with their leader Leslie Tate. We don’t learn much about Tate but I think more will come in the sequel. I like the vampire hunter action and the twist in the end as well.
  • The enemies relationship between Adrian and Eva is not quite to the “lovers” yet…and will it ever get there? We shall see, Eva’s got options, is all I’m saying.
  • Love triangle in the making? We shall see, but Eva has crushed on her best friend’s brother for awhile and now they are training as hunters, they get to spend more time together. The only thing that happens in this book is kissing. And very few kissing scenes at that, so there is a lot of room to grow with the romance angle.
  • Eva is 18 years old. I love how she tries so hard to survive and take care of her mom..but she is just 18, making mistakes, acts like a teenager especially around a very old vampire ~ she really is lucky she hasn’t been killed by chapter one! I hope we see more growth in her.

This story was a pure escape for me and a fresh take on vampires in urban fantasy. I enjoyed it so much I read it in one night and I’m here scouring this author’s backlist so I can binge read this week. I’ll be waiting impatiently for the sequel.

🧛‍♀️ ~ Yolanda

adult fiction, book review, contemporary, E-book, magic, paranormal, romance

Fables & Other Lies | Book Review

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Title: Fables & Other Lies

Author: Claire Contreras

Format: eBook (Kindle Unlimited)

Pages: 224

Publication Date: 12/20/20

Categories: Gothic Romance, Adult Fiction, Paranormal

Do you believe in curses? 

I never did.

Not until that fated night, six years ago, when I sat in The Devil’s Chair and made a wish.

Not until it came true. 

Not until I met River Caliban himself, heir to a fortune of curses. My fated sworn enemy. 

I knew I should have stayed away from him. I should have run the other way when he called out my name, when he flashed that sinful smile of his, but instead, I walked toward him, leaving the light behind. Instead, I go against all reason, against all warning, and attended the gala of the year at his dark, allegedly haunted home at the top of the hill. 

The moment I step foot inside I know I’m in trouble, but there’s something about River that magnetizes me, reels me in, and when he asks for the impossible, I find it impossible to turn him away. 

  • I love the whole mysterious, haunted house that is always covered in fog. There is a whole legend about the curse between the Guzman and Caliban families and it draws you in. The mood of this book was perfectly dark, somewhat creepy and yet sexy all at the same time.
  • Penny is a normal young lady, but a Guzman with a past she’s running from. She comes back home to take photos of the “house” which is about to be listed for sale. Coming back home brings back all kinds of memories that she has to deal with.
  • I enjoyed Penny’s friends Dee, Jose and Martin. They were lively, fun and had her back. I’m glad Penny had them since it doesn’t seem like she had much family.
  • The attraction between River and Penny is instant but nothing much happens until near the end of the book.
  • River is a fascinating character, very vague and mysterious but we do find out more about him in the end.
  • Triggers: sexual assault
  • I wish the story was longer..I think there was room to expand on River and Penny’s growing attraction. There was definitely sexual attraction but it would be nice to see them bond on another level and get to know River’s personality more. I was expecting much more emotions from them.
  • At the ending of the book, with the twist, at first read, I don’t know if it worked for me. I was confused for a moment, had to reread to make sense of it. After I thought about it, I realized I just had to keep my reality suspended.

I love the whole vibe of this book. It is dark, sexy, and mysterious. It drew me in, making me question the curse, the house, and made me wonder how will River and Penny come together. I do wish the story was longer so we could see their relationship grow, also the ending felt rushed. I definitely would like to read more from this author in the future though.

📚 ~ Yolanda

book review, coming of age, contemporary, E-book, magic, New adult, paranormal, romance, Teen Readers, Young Adult

Love Spells and Other Disasters | ARC Review

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Title: Love Spells and Other Disasters

Author: Angie Barrett

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 400

Publication Date: 2/1/21

Categories: Romance, Young Adult, Witchcraft, Friendship, Family, Contemporary

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

I didn’t know when I wrote the first love spell that it would actually make things happen. Like, actually make people fall in love with each other… 

How could I have known something like that? I mean, magic isn’t real, right? 

But here’s the thing—the spell does work and so does the next one and the next one…and suddenly I’m getting a whole lot of attention from everyone at my high school. Me, Blend-into-the-Walls, Please-Let-Me-Introvert-in-Peace Rowan Marshall. And not only that, but I’ve also caught the attention of Luca Russo, a godlike, football-playing hottie who claims he likes me just the way I am. Ummm…

But as I’m about to learn, playing around with things you don’t understand means when things go wrong—like really, very awfully wrong—you don’t know how to fix them.

  • Rowan has an interesting mom who is famous for being a parapsychologist, someone who studies the mystical and unexplainable. Ro feels like people at school thinks she is weird because of it. She has one best friend, Ethan who’s been friends with her since childhood and that pretty much consists of her social life, or lack there of…until a project at school makes her realizes she has the power to cast spells.
  • The romance is cute with a touch of heat. There are some sexy scenes but it stays PG-13 for the most part. Luca is the hot jock who is actually a nice guy. The romance comes of as insta-love but he did confess he was into her way before he talked to her. I mean, there are love spells involved so it gets complicated.
  • I did like how Rowan and her project partner, Abby, innocently start making these love spells for a project without thinking of the consequences but when it all hits the fan…the consequences are bad. Rowan does the right thing and takes responsibility. She tries her best to fix broken relationships by doing acts of kindness, which I thought was awesome.
  • I think this story had a good blend of romance, drama, and witchcraft.
  • Rowan isn’t your typical strong girl who can stand up for herself, Ethan helps her do that. Abby pushes her around when it came to doing the spells, but I guess Rowan felt guilty also for her part in ruining Abby’s science project years ago. I think Rowan is strong in her own way, not loudly, but in telling the truth and acts of kindness.
  • We don’t learn much about Rowan’s magic lineage in the story until her mom starts finally talking about her dad which is near the end of the book. It would have been nice to get some idea of how she could do the spells earlier in the book.
  • Ethan was her best friend until that spell really took a turn for the worst and he turned on her. That sucked to see since yes Ro cast the spells, but Ethan asked for the spell. I’m just glad they made up.
  • I read an arc copy so there were some errors near the end of the book which probably will be cleaned up by publication.

I enjoyed reading this witchy romance story because it was a nice blend of sweetness and drama. I liked seeing Rowan blossom as she starts dating Luca and also it was good to see her tackle the consequences of the love spells going bad by helping the ones she hurt. Even though Rowan and Luca seems like an insta-love kind of deal, he actually was into her way before the spells and I loved their relationship. We get a happy ending and it gave me all the feels in the end, that’s all I wanted, so goal accomplished.

♡ ~ Yolanda

book review, contemporary, E-book, magic, netgalley, paranormal, romance, Young Adult

Of Wicked Blood | ARC Review

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Title: Of Wicked Blood (The Quartrefoil Chronicles, #1)

Authors: Olivia Wildenstein & Katie Hayoz

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 424

Publication Date: 2/2/21

Publisher: Twig Publishing

Categories: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult/New Adult

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

No rest for the wicked… or the cursed.

SLATE
I didn’t mean to steal the Bloodstone from the De Morel’s crypt. 
Scratch that, I did mean to steal it. 
Until I realized it was a curse-magnet that only comes off if I, along with a jolly trio, successfully defeat four curses.
If any of us fail, I’m dead.
I’ve never been a glass half-empty sort of person, but my glass looks in dire need of a refill right about now.
The only highlight of this wicked treasure hunt: feisty, entitled Cadence de Morel.

CADENCE
I was raised on tales of magic, in a small town reputed to be the birthplace of French witchcraft.
Did I believe all the stories I heard? Absolutely not. I mean, if magic existed, Maman wouldn’t have died, and Papa wouldn’t be stuck in a wheelchair, right?
Wrong.
The night Slate Ardoin waltzes into my life, wearing a ring he stole from my mother’s grave, I call him a monster.
But then I meet real ones, and Slate, well . . . he becomes something else to me.
Something frustrating to live with but impossible to live without.
Something I will fight for, no matter the cost.

*Warning: profuse cursing (and not just the magical kind).

  • World-Building: I like how different this is! It takes the Merlin lore but connects it to witchcraft and magic. The town of Brume, France is ripe with magical lore, but is it real? There are four founding families in Brume, and the lore of the Quartrefoil (resembles a four leaf clover) that is everywhere in the town. So magic, founding families, and a race against the clock to find the foils equals a very exciting story!
  • Characters: Slate ~ Bad boy, troubling past, and a foul mouth (he curses a lot). Cadence ~ good girl, family secrets and beautiful. There are four family reps, but Slate and Cadence are the stronger characters. I love Cadence’s bestie Alma and Slate’s foster brother, Bastian – glad he got more book time in the end. As for deception, I’m looking at you, Cadence’s dad…we shall see what other things we learn about him and the past!
  • Romance: slow burn deliciousness between Slate and Cadence. I mean he’s the bad boy, she’s the good girl and together they are dynamite.
  • Writing: love the banter between Slate and Cadence. I thought the beginning was slow to build but from the half-way point on, I could not put this book down. There is a lot of action when the four family reps have to find their piece of the quatrefoil. I love the mystery, the puzzle piecing, and the secrets.
  • The second half is way more engaging than the first. It took me two days to read, when I picked it up on the second day I couldn’t put it down. Slate uses the F word a lot but I love it, it totally fits him.
  • I had to research the authors after I read this because I enjoyed the story so much and was surprised to see I read Olivia Wildenstein’s The Lost Clan Trilogy few years ago. I remember how unique and enjoyable it was. Now I want to read everything she’s written. I’m not familiar with Katie Hayoz’s work but I’m going to check out her books as well!

This story has all the things I love in a paranormal story: lore, slow burn romance, adventure, a mystery and family secrets to uncover! This was a fun read and I look forward to the next book in the series.

🖤 ~ Yolanda

book review, contemporary, netgalley, paranormal, romance, Young Adult

To Whatever End | ARC Review

My Rating: 3/5 Stars

Title: To What Ever End

Author: Lindsey Frydman

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 320

Publication Date: 3/2/20

Categories: Young Adult, Romance, Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary, Paranormal

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

What if with every person you met, after just one touch, you have a vision of the last time you’ll see each other? Ever. Normally, these visions are innocent—two friends just drifting apart, a random stranger that brushed past you then never crossed your path again.

But not today.

When I accidentally touch him, within only moments of our first meeting, I’m bombarded by visions of his death.

And from what I can see, I’m the reason he dies.

Now I just need to figure out why, and how to stop this from happening. Because not only am I to blame, but his very last words to me are…I love you.

  • I wasn’t sure what to expect from reading the synopsis but I was pleasantly surprised at how the mystery kept me engaged in the story. Quinn is cursed with visions when she touches someone. She can see how she and that person comes to an end, like her last memory with them. Quinn meets Griffin and her vision of him is not good so she tries to stay away, but that’s hard to do when they run into each other again.
  • Now that she has this vision, Quinn needs to decide to either stay away from him or maybe someone change the future. But can she change the future? Is Griffin worth it? She thinks so.
  • Not only does Quinn have to figure out how to change Griffin’s future, someone is harassing her and Griffin with threatening actions and notes. Is it something from Griffin’s past or Quinn’s?
  • The romance is instant, but I think it develops nicely where Quinn and Griffin get to know each other over dinner and coffee before things get serious.
  • Triggers: stalking, violence, grieving
  • Even though the mystery kept me engaged, you could pretty much connect the dots and see what was coming.
  • I’d like to know more about the curse. We know it’s in her family, her mom had it and her grandmother does too, but it seems they have it in different degrees? I didn’t really connect to any of the characters.

I think the premise of the story was interesting and kept me engaged with the added mystery and thriller aspect. I would have liked to know more about Quinn’s abilities and maybe not have the story be so predictable. I think there will be many readers that enjoy this paranormal romance mystery story.

💜 ~ Yolanda

book review, E-book, New adult, paranormal, romance, urban fantasy

Moon Claimed | Book Review

My Rating: 3/5 Stars

Title: Moon Claimed (Werewolf Dens, #2)

Author: Kelly St. Clare

Format: eBook (Kindle Unlimited)

Pages: 344

Categories: New Adult, Urban Fantasy, Werewolves, Romance

The pack of lies continues.

My mother isn’t my mother.
A werewolf wants me for his one-and-only baby mama
Oh! And I’m the new leader of a tribe I joined weeks ago.

Messed up doesn’t begin to explain it.

I’m more desperate than ever to uncover an explanation for Mum’s mounting betrayals. Because this time, I’m not sure forgiveness is possible.

But the mating meets with Sascha must continue if I want to escape our bond for good. An entire tribe is relying on me to win a centuries-old game against freakin’ shifters. And at this point, well… I have a few secrets of my own.

Keeping them is the new game.

Would you confess the truth and risk forfeiting the one person you have left?

  • Andie embracing her wolf is the best part of this book, because it was inevitable and we know she’s going to end up with Sascha, it’s just too many things are so complicated. But she can’t fight it much longer.
  • Sascha is so patient with Andie – like seriously. He wants her but he will let her decide in the end and I’m glad. Andie has a lot of issues to work through and she has no choice but to deal with now after the ending of this sequel.
  • Wade is ride or die for Andie and she’s lucky to have him. He really listens and has her back.
  • This is supposed to be a quick read but it took me days to finish because I wasn’t feeling it, so it was more like a 2 star read for me but I know Andie needs to go through some challenges to break through her wall so she definitely grows in this one. The first book was much more intriguing, but now I don’t even care why they have to play this game. It seems pointless to me right now.
  • Rhona has a right to be seriously mad at Andie. Andie is lying (wayyyy to much) to protect Rhona but she just lost her dad, she’s going through a tough time on top of her sister lying to her. I just wish she confessed earlier, but the drama was dragged on until her relationship with Rhona broke. Sad. I was tired of Andie in this one.
  • This one made me question if I was more team vampire than team werewolves haha. Like…I don’t think I’m enjoying this wolf story as much as the vampire story she did previously. So…🤷🏻‍♀️.

I’m bummed this one didn’t hold my attention but I’m still going to read book three just to see how things pan out with Rhona and Andie. It’s obvious Andie and Sascha are fated mates so I’m not worried about that. But for me the story is Rhona and Andie. They are family and I hope things can be fixed between them.

🖤 ~ Yolanda

adult fiction, book review, Dystopian, E-book, fantasy, paranormal, urban fantasy

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

book review, E-book, New adult, paranormal, romance, urban fantasy

Shifter Wars | Book Review

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Title: Shifter Wars ~ Werewold Dens #1

Author: Kelly St. Clare

Format: eBook (Kindle Unlimited)

Pages: 420

Categories: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Romance, Fated Mates, Werewolves

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.

💙 ~ Yolanda

book review, coming of age, fantasy, historical fiction, horror, magic, netgalley, paranormal, romance, Young Adult

Kingdom of the Wicked | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Kingdom of the Wicked

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 448

Publication Date: 10/27/20

Publisher: JIMMY Patterson

Categories: Historical Fantasy, Witchcraft, Family, Romance, Young Adult/New Adult, Demons

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Emilia and her twin sister Victoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Victoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to discover who did this, and to seek vengeance at any cost—even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, the outlier among the seven demon brethren, always choosing duty over pleasure. He’s been tasked by his master with investigating a series of women’s murders on the island. When Emilia and Wrath’s fates collide, it’s clear this disturbing mystery will take a bewitching turn…

Thank you to JIMMY Patterson and NetGalley for giving me a chance to read this eARC.

My Attention: engrossed

World Building: 19th century Sicily, there are practicing witches, there are hot Princes of Hell, scary demons, a murderer on the loose, and so much FOOD

Writing Style: a quick moving story, great dialogue

Bringing the Heat: 🔥🔥

Crazy in Love: slow burn in hell…ha!

Creativity: this whole story is dark and delicious

Mood: witchy 

Triggers: violence, gore, rituals, death

My Takeaway: Hooking up with a Prince of Hell might be a bad idea…but it sounds pretty hot.

  • Let’s start with aesthetics – the cover is to die for. A pre-Halloween publication date? A cover like that and this story has witches and demons? Come on! It is perfection.
  • Speaking of witches and demons…whew! Emilia and Vittoria are twins and have been learning witchcraft since they were born. Their Nonna is the one who taught them all the spells they know and how the Malgavi will return to collect on a blood debt. As far as these Princes from Hell, they are exactly as Nonna said they would be: Trouble.
  • The setting of Sicily is fantastic and made me crave all kinds of pasta and cheese ALL week. I felt like I was there, or I wished I was. I wanted to be eating at the Sea & Vine and tasting Nonna’s delicious meals.
  • This story is dark and doesn’t shy away from gore. Someone is murdering girls and ripping their hearts out of their chests! Ugh…but why? There is a mystery. Emilia and a hell prince named Wrath is trying to put the pieces together to find out who it is before another girl dies.
  • Wrath and Emilia’s growing relationship is an enemies to lovers romance- or should I say…we shall see if they ever become lovers? They are enemies but start working together. Their dialogue is fun since they drive each other crazy.
  • At times I thought this book was going into New Adult territory – it totally could with the hotness factor of the Princes and Emilia’s scandalous thoughts about one in particular haha.
  • I wanted this to be fast paced because of the danger at every corner that Emilia was being exposed to but at times, the mystery (and this is a personal thing for me – always happens with mysteries)…made it go a bit too slow for me at times.
  • There is a cliffhanger.

Kingdom of the Wicked is the perfect book to read for fall! It has danger, gore, hot Princes and food…so much good food. I loved the family and community bond Emilia has in her home town. I could feel the warmth of her Nonna’s love and glares! We get a little bit of everything in this story and it is quite entertaining. This book will put you in a very witchy mood.

💕 ~ Yolanda

book review, fantasy, historical fiction, paranormal, romance, Young Adult

The Damned | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: The Damned (The Beautiful, #2)

Author: Renee Ahdieh

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 456

Categories: Vampires, Young Adult, New Orleans, Romance, Historical Fantasy

Following the events of The Beautiful, Sébastien Saint Germain is now cursed and forever changed. The treaty between the Fallen and the Brotherhood has been broken, and war between the immortals seems imminent. The price of loving Celine was costly. But Celine has also paid a high price for loving Bastien. 

Still recovering from injuries sustained during a night she can’t quite remember, her dreams are troubled. And she doesn’t know she has inadvertently set into motion a chain of events that could lead to her demise and unveil a truth about herself she’s not quite ready to learn. 

Forces hiding in the shadows have been patiently waiting for this moment for centuries. And just as Bastien and Celine begin to uncover the danger around them, they learn their love could tear them apart.

My Attention: struggled to stay interested

World Building: lovely world building of New Orleans

Writing Style: slow…writing is lovely, but to slow paced for me

Bringing the Heat: 🔥 – I was expecting more 

Crazy in Love: not much of a love triangle because it’s clear who Celine wants

Creativity: I did enjoy the supernaturals and in this book more of the fey world is explained

Mood: mixed feelings 

Triggers: blood, violence

My Takeaway: Family can betray you.

  • The reason I enjoyed the first book in the series was the lush setting of New Orleans. Once again, the setting is enjoyable plus we get to travel to another world, that of the Lady of the Vale (the fey).
  • We learn more about the past – we find out how vampires were made. We are introduced to the fey and we get to know backstories about a few characters.
  • I like knowing more about Celine’s past and makes me wonder about her future.
  • The secondary characters like Odette, Jae and Arjun stand out in this volume more than Bastien and Celine. I really got into Jae’s story.
  • I like the diversity in the book with the characters whether it be their ethnicity or sexual preferences.
  • I was expecting way more from this book (like WAY more action) but was disappointed with the slow pace of the beginning.
  • Bastien and Celine’s relationship was what was enticing about The Beautiful but in this one they are mostly apart…or try to stay apart. It left me with mild feelings and I was expecting a burning longing between them. There were some moments between them…but again, my expectations were high.
  • As much as I did enjoy learning about the fey…I think it took away from the whole vampire element – at least for me. It took off in a direction that was unexpected…and I’m not sure if it was a good surprise, at least to me. Maybe I’m still processing…
  • There are SO many questions still -Emilie for one hasn’t been dealt with at all. Also there is a cliffhanger…one that was shocking but, does it make want to read book three? Right now…I’d say no. But who knows how I will feel next year?

The world building is still lush, the cast of characters is diverse, and it’s a world of supernaturals from vampires, werewolves and fey. The romance is predictable since we obviously can see Michael has no chance in hell with Celine if Bastien’s around. There is a lot here to keep readers entertained but for me it fell short of my expectations.

💕 ~Yolanda