adult fiction, book review, contemporary, romance

Float Plan by. Trish Doller | Book Review

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Title: Float Plan

Author: Trish Doller

Format: eBook (Overdrive Library)

Pages: 272

Publication Date: 3/02/21

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Categories: Contemporary, Romance, Sailing, Grief, Mental Health

Critically acclaimed author Trish Doller’s unforgettable and romantic adult debut about setting sail, starting over, and finding yourself…

Since the loss of her fiancé, Anna has been shipwrecked by grief—until a reminder goes off about a trip they were supposed to take together. Impulsively, Anna goes to sea in their sailboat, intending to complete the voyage alone.

But after a treacherous night’s sail, she realizes she can’t do it by herself and hires Keane, a professional sailor, to help. Much like Anna, Keane is struggling with a very different future than the one he had planned. As romance rises with the tide, they discover that it’s never too late to chart a new course.

In Trish Doller’s unforgettable Float Plan, starting over doesn’t mean letting go of your past, it means making room for your future. 

  • Love the cover because it’s so bright and yellow. Makes you think of a happy story and yet Anna our main character is dealing with grief throughout the book.
  • I related to Anna’s grief a lot because I lost my first husband in my late 20’s. So everything she felt, I’ve been through but I like that even though the topic is heavy – Anna being on the water, learning how to sail and navigate foreign waters was therapeutic not only for her as a character but me as a reader. It keep her moving forward, working through the grief and I appreciated that about the story. Also the dog she adopts, Queenie? I wouldn’t have gotten through my grief without my dogs. 💗 They are angels on earth.
  • Keane, her crew mate and eventually lover is the sweetest. I love how good he is, not only to her, but overall. Even with his own challenges about his past, his kindness is beautiful. Anna needed that.
  • I found all the sailing terminology go over my head because I am not a sailor but I loved learning what I could and imagining what each part of the boat is. I loved that Anna had to learn to sail because Keane wasn’t in her plans for the path home. She did it, even if she was scared. As for me, I’d suck at sailing ~ I need my comforts like a bed, a shower every day haha and internet but the idea of roughing it out there under the stars every night sounds amazing.
  • The setting of this book is really fantastic. I’m an island girl, I live in Hawaii, but I’m not a sailor and I have never sailed to any of the islands nearby, I think our waters are very different from the Caribbean where you can reach so many different islands, daily. So I loved island hopping with Anna and Keane! I hope to visit these islands one day and learn more about the history and people that live there. I’m glad they mentioned how the slavery trade made an impact there.

Triggers: triggers, grief, suicide, accident/injury

  • Even though Anna is grieving I didn’t feel immersed in her grief while reading this, maybe because the sailing keeps her moving. She was never really stuck and I know being stuck and grieving is one of the scariest places to be. So this book didn’t trigger me as much as I thought it would, which I liked!
  • I do like how Anna and Keane’s relationship progressed very slowly but for the most part, they are friends. They don’t flirt a lot with another, and that’s to respect Anna’s space as she grieves, but when they do get together, I don’t feel explosions – it’s more of a nice melting into one another that they do. It really feels like a friendship that blossoms into love, the sex is an added bonus, but you know it’s deeper than that with both of them. So don’t expect a lot of romance from the beginning of this book ~ this is Anna’s journey of grief.

As a romance book, this one is a slow burn and barely a burn at that, more like a comforting warmth by the end. As a book about a woman grieving her fiance and trying to move her life forward, I think it hit a lot of the right spots. Anna learns to sail and open her heart again on this adventure through the Caribbean. She hits some bumps along the way but ultimately she learns to navigate her life on her own again, with the help of Keane, and for someone who has experienced grief on that level, I found Anna’s journey inspirational.

⛵️ ~ Yolanda

adult fiction, book review, fantasy, New adult, romance

A Court of Silver Flames | Book Review

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Title: A Court of Silver Flames

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Format: eBook (owned)

Pages: 768

Publication Date: 2/16/21

Categories: Fantasy, New Adult, Adult, Romance, Family, Friendship, Mature Audience

Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.

The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.

Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.

Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other’s arms.

  • Off the bat I want to say if you were uncomfortable with Rhys and Feyre’s sex scenes – then you will be more so with Nesta and Cassian. Because let me tell ya…it’s hot, it’s intense, and Nesta and Cassian enjoy it that way. Some will think it’s too much but I was a romance reader before I was a young adult reader so this is nothing new. More power to them! I expected nothing less especially from Nesta and Cassian. I’m actually glad this book is for more mature audiences because it was starting to get that way with Rhys and Feyre but was still being touted as Young Adult. Nesta and Cassian in the sheets or out of it lol…is 🧨. But because this series went from young adult to new adult/adult, I think there should be warnings to prepare a young adult reader haha.
  • I always loved Nesta because she was fierce, not likable, but I could admire her protectiveness over Elaine even though I despised her for treating Feyre the way she did – but everyone has a past. Someone isn’t hard and bitter and cruel as a child, they are made that way. And we learn just how Nesta’s upbringing shaped her into this woman with very sharp edges and walls, so many walls. Her story is important. I cried for Nesta multiple times in this story. I resonated with her – her story triggered a lot of things in me. She is at rock bottom but she rises to the top, claws her way to the top of the mental pit she’s in.
  • Friendship. This book and the women in it and the FRIENDSHIP. Even with Cassian, it’s her friendship with him that makes them so perfect for one another. Cassian doesn’t give up on her, doesn’t pity her. It’s why Cassian is her perfect mate. But the new women we meet that come into Nesta’s life are a force to reckon with. These women have been traumatized, scarred, broken, like Nesta – but they help each other up. Ugh…what it did to my heart seeing women uplift women. It’s beautiful.
  • Family ~ this one is tricky and messy and so complicated. But even I understood how she needed to break from them and choose her own family (her friends). There is so much hurt between Nesta and her sisters, I mean look what they all went through in the previous books. Trauma. Feyre and Elaine weathered it better but Nesta did not. Nesta has to learn to make amends, and she has to forgive herself. So easy to say, so hard to do but she gets there. It’s heartbreaking but she gets there.
  • Romance ~ Cassian gives Nesta the tools to save herself and when she breaks, he is there to tell her she got this. THIS MAN. UGH….give him to me. 😅 I love how he wasn’t afraid of her sharp edges. I liked how he called her out on his bs, and I liked how he gave her space even though he wanted to consume her. She was always so safe with him, from day one.
  • Triggers: story of rape, story of abuse, violence, death, grief, depression, self-loathing
  • Because I’ve read so many romance novels in my lifetime and sex is always in it ~ I get that SJM’s sex scene can be go from dirty talk to stars are exploding and the world is ending or made new when they orgasm. 😅 I’m like, okay…chill with the universe coming apart already. Fae sex is good, I get it! lol…but that’s just her writing style.
  • This is a long book but I read it in one day (throughout the day because I have kids and a puppy to care for) ~ it didn’t feel long to me though. The story is very character driven but yes there is actually something going on other than Nesta falling apart haha, the human Queen that was turned into a crone in the Cauldron wants to be made young again and she needs three artifacts to do it. War between courts/kingdoms are also threatening to erupt again. But for me ~ Nesta took the spotlight. It is her story.
  • Did I mentioned I cried? Multiple times, because I could relate to Nesta’s personal journey on so many levels.
  • Now give me Azriel’s story. Also, Morrigan and Elaine’s please. ☺️

This book went above and beyond my expectations, especially with care to Nesta’s character development. Also, with Nesta and Cassian’s love story. This is for my new adult/adult romance lovers, young adult readers beware if you aren’t here for the sex because Nesta and Cassian deserve their adult sexy times. 😅 I think it’s funny how Cassian is an alpha male but hello, Nesta is an alpha female, so when those two collide? It’s not fire, it’s dynamite. What I loved the most in this story has to be the friendships that Nesta builds, as the story kept reiterating “like calls to like“. Nesta called to me from the moment I met her because she had some darkness in her, some trauma and grief we didn’t know about that shaped her and made her lash out and angry. She needed to break so many walls and fears inside her to rebuild herself into someone she doesn’t hate. Nesta had to face her past and make amends. She had to forgive herself, she had to not give up, she had to just try. That’s inspiring and brave. It’s courageous, and that’s Nesta. This story broke me in so many ways but it will be the one that stays in my head for a long time ~ when I feel low, I’ll just remember Nesta’s climb to the top. ♥️ One step at a time. 💪🏾

📚 ~ Yolanda

adult fiction, book review, contemporary, netgalley

ARC Review | Saint X

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Title: Saint X

Author: Alexis Schaitkin

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 352

Categories: Murder Mystery, Adult, Contemporary

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

Claire is only seven years old when her college-age sister, Alison, disappears on the last night of their family vacation at a resort on the Caribbean island of Saint X. Several days later, Alison’s body is found in a remote spot on a nearby cay, and two local men – employees at the resort – are arrested. But the evidence is slim, the timeline against it, and the men are soon released. The story turns into national tabloid news, a lurid mystery that will go unsolved. For Claire and her parents, there is only the return home to broken lives.

Years later, Claire is living and working in New York City when a brief but fateful encounter brings her together with Clive Richardson, one of the men originally suspected of murdering her sister. It is a moment that sets Claire on an obsessive pursuit of the truth – not only to find out what happened the night of Alison’s death but also to answer the elusive question: Who exactly was her sister? At seven, Claire had been barely old enough to know her: a beautiful, changeable, provocative girl of eighteen at a turbulent moment of identity formation.

As Claire doggedly shadows Clive, hoping to gain his trust, waiting for the slip that will reveal the truth, an unlikely attachment develops between them, two people whose lives were forever marked by the same tragedy.

Thank you to Celadon Books and NetGalley for giving me a chance to read this eARC.

I went into this thinking it was a murder mystery where we find the clues to who murdered Alison, but I got something else.

Claire is an adult now but the death of her sister years ago still affects her and the people that were involved with the investigation. Instead of a real murder mystery, we are treated more to a look at the people that were affected by her death. There are news articles, witness statements, statements even from people who weren’t there but knew Alison. Claire runs into one of the people who was a suspect in Alison’s and she gets obsessed with wanting to find out what happened that night. What she comes away with is insight about her sister and man accused of committing the crime.

  • This was not the murder mystery I expected, but reading Alison’s journals and hearing accounts from people she came into contact was keeping me interested in this story! I did have to put this book down for a few days because I was bummed it was reading like a usual murder mystery but I’m glad I stuck it through.
  • I liked that we get to meet Clive, who was one of the last people to see Alison alive and we get to see his back story. Through him we get to know the island Saint X and the local lifestyle as we watch him and his best friend Edgar grow up. Clive hasn’t had an easy life, compared to Claire who grew up wealthy and privileged. But they both experience pain in their lives.
  • Alison is such an interesting character and we get to know her through her journals, videos, and personal accounts but in reality she was still so young and was finding herself.
  • I’m glad Claire got closure in a way – she had tried to avoid everything about Alison and her murder all her life, understandably since she was so young when it happened. What a traumatic event to go through and try to process. When she bumps into Clive out of the blue, it hashes up all the memories of what happened and the sister she thought she knew.
  • I think of all the characters in this book, Clive’s story was the strongest. His childhood, how he grew up on the island, how his mom abandoned him, meeting Alison and the night of the murder. Then there is the aftermath where he is living in NYC.
  • The ending was definitely unexpected! It’s sad how know one really knew the real Alison, she was still learning about herself too when she died.
  • There were times in the book I was slugging through and like I said, I even put it down for a few weeks. There are a lot of different accounts being told, sometimes randomly from a teacher of Alison’s or someone who barely knew her. The beginning is slow if you are expecting a usual murder mystery, and I seriously wanted to DNF this book but I didn’t. When we finally get to Clive’s story about what happened the night Alison died is when I was fully immersed in the story. This comes past the halfway mark!
  • Triggers: death

I almost gave up on this one but I’m glad I didn’t because in the end I did enjoy it. Don’t go into reading this thinking it’s a fast paced thriller murder mystery. It is more of a character study of Alison, the murder victim, and the people that are left behind with the aftermath of a traumatic event.

adult fiction, book review, contemporary, romance

{BLOG TOUR} | His to Defend by. Rhenna Morgan

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: His to Defend (NOLA Knights, #1)

Author: Rhenna Morgan

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 384

Publisher: Carina Press

Categories: Contemporary Romance

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

His world. His rules. Her love.

Though his methods may be rough, when it comes to protecting what’s his, Russian vor Sergei Petrovyh’s heart is always in the right place. That’s never been more true than when the gorgeous Evette Labadie asks him for a job. He knows enough to keep his hands off someone as beloved by the locals as Evie, but there’s something about her that calls to him—no matter how badly he burns to make her his.

Don’t think Evie hasn’t noticed the powerful Russian mafia boss who makes her favorite diner a regular stop. How can she not? He’s as hot as his reputation is dangerous. But everyone in her struggling New Orleans neighborhood knows he’s the man to turn to. And right now she needs money to get her son out of trouble.

Her other needs—needs she knows damn well Sergei can more than satisfy—will have to wait.

Evie soon finds herself playing Cinderella to a man who, despite what people believe, is definitely more prince than villain. She can’t help falling deeper in love with each passing day. But when a turf war between Sergei and a rival brings violence to her doorstep, Evie must come to grips with loving a man who will do anything to defend her…or walk away from her best chance at a happily-ever-after of her very own.

Thank you to Carina Press and NetGalley for giving me a chance to read an eARC of this book.

Russian mob? A damsel in distress? New Orleans? This story is a contemporary adult fiction with a Cinderella vibe but much much MUCH more scintillating than the original story.

Evette Labadie is a sweet single mother with some challenges securing a job. She needs one right away to get funds to send her son to a private school. Sergei Petrovyh has a reputation in New Orleans as a mob boss kind of figure, with lots of connections. To hear Sergei say it, it’s a lifestyle, it’s bratva or a brotherhood. He has power, connections, money and will do whatever is necessary to protect his own and he has an eye on Evette. Evette asks Sergei to help her, and he does…and then some!

While the story is somewhat predictable: powerful man rescues woman in need, I don’t think it takes away from the story at all. It’s one of those stories that’s addicting if mobster romance is your thing. Their relationship does happen really quick with not a lot of resistance on her part. Evette does have some spunk in her, but deep down she is a sweetheart and gives in to her attraction to Sergei. As for Sergei…he is 🔥🔥🔥 in the bedroom and so soft and protective towards Evette outside of it. I mean, he does get his way at times because he is a powerful, alpha kind of man. But I like how he’s cautious and easy with her son Emerson as well.

Outside of their love story is a situation close to Evette that threatens Sergei and Evette’s lives. But hey…Sergei’s a powerful man. He takes care of it. 👀🕶

Overall this is an enjoyable, hot read, with sweetness, a little danger, lots of sexy moments, and a happily ever after!

Purchase your copy at Amazon:

About the Author:

A native Oklahoman, Rhenna Morgan is a certified romance junkie. Whether it’s
contemporary, paranormal, or fantasy you’re after, Rhenna’s stories pack romantic escape
full of new, exciting worlds, and strong, intuitive men who fight to keep the women they
want. For advance release news and exclusive content, sign up for her newsletter at You’ll also find all of her social links there, along with her
smoking hot inspiration boards.

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His to Defend – Blog Tour Schedule

October 14th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight)

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Spotlight)

Vivianna MacKade (Guest Post?)

Didi Oviatt (Review)

Romance Book Binge (Review)

October 15th

I’m All About Books (Spotlight)

Sophril Reads (Spotlight)

October 16th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight)

Cup of Books (Review)

Jane Hunt Writer (Review)

October 17th

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review)

The Bookish Mrs. Harding (Review)

October 18th

Misty’s Book Space (Review)

The Cozy Pages (Review)


October 21st

B is for Book Review (Spotlight)

I Love Books and Stuff (Spotlight)

Literary Dust (Review)

The Faerie Review (Review)

October 22nd

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight)

Tranquil Dreams (Spotlight)

Inked and Blonde (Review)

October 23rd

Wrong Side of Forty (Review)

Tsarina Press (Review)

October 24th

Past Midnight (Review)

October 25th

Jessica Belmont (Review)

Book Dragon Girl (Review)

Crossroads Reviews (Spotlight) 

adult fiction, book review, E-book, netgalley

ARC Review | The Bear

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️1/2

Title: The Bear

Author: Andrew Krivak

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 224

Publication Date: February 11, 2020

Categories: Dystopian, Literary Fiction, Fable

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

In an Eden-like future, a girl and her father live close to the land in the shadow of a lone mountain. They own a few remnants of civilization: some books, a pane of glass, a set of flint and steel, a comb. The father teaches his daughter how to fish and hunt and the secrets of the seasons and the stars. He is preparing her for an adulthood in harmony with nature, for they are the last of humankind. But when the girl finds herself alone in an unknown landscape, it is a bear that will lead her back home through a vast wilderness that offers the greatest lessons of all, if she can learn to listen. A cautionary tale of human fragility, of love and loss, The Bear is a stunning tribute to the beauty of nature’s dominion. 

Thank you to Bellevue Literary Press and NetGalley for giving me a chance to read this eARC.

I chose this book to read because it was out of my comfort zone and as I started reading I was like, wow, YES, this is definitely out of my comfort zone. I read romance and ya books, mostly fantasy these days but I like my contemporary stuff too. This story is written like a fable and I put it down so many times I didn’t realize I’ve had it on my NetGalley for more than three months now! Well it was time to finish it.

The writing is poetic and told like a fable but it is sparse and this book only clocks in at 224 pages! It took me three months to finish what I could usually finish in three hours. It was so hard for me to get into the story, I was so bored. There is no plot. There is no punctuation when the characters speak. The characters have no names, on purpose though, but still, it bugged me.

The father and daughter live in a post-apocalyptic world, surviving by living off the land, hunting for their food, preparing it and so forth, same for the next day. The father teaches her lessons, year after year of her life he gifts her something that will help her survive this life. It is a tale of survival, enduring and loss. But because I couldn’t quite get into reading the book, a lot of the message went over my head.

It was definitely different and I did get the message of the book. It’s a story that makes you think, at least to question what the book was trying to say. It wasn’t for me but I think if you like books that read like a fable and don’t get hung up on things like punctuation, you would enjoy this.

adult fiction, book review, E-book, romance

Book Review | The Bridge Kingdom

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: The Bridge Kingdom

Author: Danielle L. Jensen

Format: eBook (owned)

Pages: 354

Categories: Fantasy, Adult Fiction, Romance, Enemies to Lovers

What if you fell in love with the one person you’d sworn to destroy? 

Lara has only one thought for her husband on their wedding day: I will bring your kingdom to its knees. A princess trained from childhood to be a lethal spy, Lara knows that the Bridge Kingdom represents both legendary evil – and legendary promise. The only route through a storm-ravaged world, the Bridge Kingdom controls all trade and travel between lands, allowing its ruler to enrich himself and deprive his enemies, including Lara’s homeland. So when she is sent as a bride under the guise of fulfilling a treaty of peace, Lara is prepared to do whatever it takes to fracture the defenses of the impenetrable Bridge Kingdom. 

But as she infiltrates her new home – a lush paradise surrounded by tempest seas – and comes to know her new husband, Aren, Lara begins to question where the true evil resides. Around her, she sees a kingdom fighting for survival, and in Aren, a man fiercely protective of his people. As her mission drives her to deeper understanding of the fight to possess the bridge, Lara finds the simmering attraction between her and Aren impossible to ignore. 

Her goal nearly within reach, Lara will have to decide her own fate: Will she be the destroyer of a king or the savior of her people?

When I saw this book as an Audible on Amazon, it made me look twice. I thought, didn’t Danielle L. Jensen just release a young adult book this year? I love her books, so I was pretty sure I would have known she was releasing another novel. I didn’t even know about The Bridge Kingdom! It was just by coincidence that I saw it released the ebooks and physical copies on Tuesday. I bought the ebook without a second thought because I didn’t have the patience to wait for the hard copy.

It was everything I’ve been craving lately in a book! It’s like this author just knew I was needing this book. And just to reiterate because she writes young adult novels – this one is an adult novel, so yes there is a sex scene and thank goodness because the tension between Lara and Aren was building up so much. I was going to be irritated if they didn’t hook up. 🤷🏻‍♀️😅

At the end of chapter one, I was like this…😳 and I think I gasped and said, “what is this?!” Maybe because it described Lara with eleven half-sisters, I was like oooo, is this a Twelve Dancing Princesses re-telling? 😂 This goes to show I knew NOTHING about what this book would be about, I didn’t even really read the blurb, I saw the author on this and bought it without thought. So NO this is not about dancing princesses at all, unless you count spy and assassin skills as “dancing”.

Lara and her half-sisters are daughters of the Rat King, Silas Veliant, the King of Maridrina. Maridrina is a desert country where the people are starving and the king blames the kingdom of Ithicana for all its woes. Ithicana is the hub of trade but it is called The Bridge Kingdom because they have a bridge that is central to this successful trade business and no one has been able to capture it. A peace treaty between the two kingdoms promises a Maridrina bride to the King of Ithicana. This is how Silas wants to bring down Ithicana, by marrying King Aren to one of his trained daughters.

The world building is fascinating and I wish the eBook had a map of the kingdoms. Maridrina like I said is a dry, desert country. Ithicana is in the middle of the sea with high cliffs, a bridge, and islands all around. Because it is a bunch of islands, the foliage is lush, the air is humid and they deal with venomous snakes that populate the island and also sharks that thrive in the waters. There is mention of other kingdoms and maybe we will learn more about them in the sequels.

This book has political intrigue, a steamy slow burn romance, action, bloody battles, and betrayal! By the time I got to the end, and yes I read this in one day, I was kicking myself for not reading this nearer to it’s sequel release date.

I was begging silently for Lara to open her eyes to her father’s scheming ways – ugh because I knew it would only end in heartbreak! I mean, all of it was kind of predictable after the first chapter but it was still so good. I don’t mind if something is predictable as long as it’s still entertaining.

Lara, has been raised in the most awful way. She has been conditioned and tortured to believe Ithicana is their enemy and nothing else matters but taking them down. She’s not sweet, she’s an assassin, a spy, a liar and she’s so good at what she does. We see her plans unravel slowly as she learns about King Aren and Ithicana. Though she has all these skills to deceive, Lara also finds she has weaknesses, like the fear of the ocean that surrounds Ithicana and caring for her sisters. King Aren, on the other hand was raised with the love of the Ithicana people. He is smart, a fierce fighter and strong leader who loves his people. In the end he has a weakness too, Lara. 😭

And then that ending. 😩 It’s a cliffhanger and the way it ends makes me want the second book in my hands right now. I need Lara to use her badass skills for good. I need to see how she can fix things and I need her and Aren to be together – though I don’t know how that will happen right now. 😢 Lara has a tough road ahead but I believe in her. I will count down the days until the sequel is released!

book review, fantasy, romance

ARC Review | The Orchid Throne

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Title: The Orchid Throne

Author: Jeffe Kennedy

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 384

Publication Date: September 24, 2019

Categories: Romance, Fantasy, Adult Fiction

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

Welcome to the world of Forgotten Empires from award winning author Jeffe Kennedy that begins with The Orchid Throne.


As Queen of the island kingdom of Calanthe, Euthalia will do anything to keep her people free—and her secrets safe—from the mad tyrant who rules the mainland. Guided by a magic ring of her father’s, Lia plays the political game with the cronies the emperor sends to her island. In her heart, she knows that it’s up to her to save herself from her fate as the emperor’s bride. But in her dreams, she sees a man, one with the power to build a better world—a man whose spirit is as strong, and whose passion is as fierce as her own…


Conrí, former Crown Prince of Oriel, has built an army to overthrow the emperor. But he needs the fabled Abiding Ring to succeed. The ring that Euthalia holds so dear to her heart. When the two banished rulers meet face to face, neither can deny the flames of rebellion that flicker in their eyes—nor the fires of desire that draw them together. But in this broken world of shattered kingdoms, can they ever really trust each other? Can their fiery alliance defeat the shadows of evil that threaten to engulf their hearts and souls?

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this eArc.

I almost couldn’t get into this book because of the prologue – it was straight info dump. 😩 It wasn’t what I was expecting and I wondered if that was how the whole book would be written. It was a curious way to start the book. Thank goodness I picked it up again after putting it down!

The kingdom of Calanthe is a mysterious paradise ruled by Queen Euthalia. Euthalia’s world is quite a spectacle. From the moment she wakes up and is attended by her maids and Morning Glories, down to the art of keeping peace with her fiancé, the ruthless ruler, Emperor Anure, it is all done to keep up a façade. Her only desire is to keep Calanthe thriving and she will do so no matter the cost.

What she doesn’t expect is news of a rebel, Conri, and his crew who want to take down Emperor Anure. But to get to the Emperor, they must go through Calanthe first and Euthalia can’t have that.

I loved learning about Queen Euthalia and Calanthe because it is a paradise island with a secret. The secret is revealed in the end and for me it was so unsuspecting, it leaves me even more intrigued. Everyone assumes Euthalia is a frivolous queen obsessed with beauty but there is much more to her than that. Her night court has a reputation for indulging in all kinds of pleasures. She is a virgin queen saving herself for her fiancé but she definitely knows what happens in a bedroom. This is an adult fantasy with a slow burn romance, but eventually, near the end, there are some steamy scenes.

I loved Conri’s story. He was a prince to a slave, to a king of nothing and wanting his revenge on the man who ruined his world. He went through some things in the mines, saw some things in the mines that would give anyone nightmares and still he is a survivor and fighter. I love his relationship with his best friend, Sondra. He’s not much of a ladies man, but that’s what makes him and Euthalia getting together exciting though sometimes it was kind of awkward. 😅🤷🏻‍♀️

There are magic elements to this story, that I hope will be developed more in the sequel. I want to know how the true Calantheans work their magic! Also there is political intrigue, and enough mystery about Calanthe to keep me engaged with the story.

Now the thing I struggled with sometimes is that it is told in dual perspective, which works great, except it doesn’t tell you at the beginning of the chapter whose perspective it is from. Each chapter is numbered naturally and alternated with Euthalia and Conri’s perspectives, but it was frustrating when I started a chapter and forgot if it was one or the other. So names for each chapter would totally help.

After the prologue which almost killed any desire for me to read this book, I actually got into this story! I’m very curious to see what happens next and how Queen Euthalia and Conri will try and take down Emperor Anure. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

adult fiction, book review

First Lines Fridays

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Happy Friday book lovers! Another week in August is coming to an end and I just learned my son will have a spelling test every Friday. 😩 That emoji is the face I will be making every Thursday when I tell him it’s time to study for his test. 😂 I can already picture his face of annoyance. Sigh…oh well! So what book have I been reading this week?

“WHEN I WAS BORN, the name for what I was did not exist. They called me nymph, assuming I would be like my mother and aunts and thousand cousins.”






I am slowly savoring this tale of Circe, I can see why so many people love it. I haven’t read a Greek mythology retelling in awhile because I felt like there was so much out there already. But this one feels fresh and the writing is beautiful, my goodness Circe’s siblings are such bullies though! Okay gotta get back to my book so I can write up a review for it soon. 😘 Have a lovely weekend everyone!

adult fiction, book review, E-book

Book Review | In the Teeth of It: A Gingerbread Hag Mystery

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Title: In the Teeth of It (A Gingerbread Hag Mystery, Book 2)

Author: K.A. Miltimore

Format: eBook (Kindle Unlimited)

Pages: 217

Categories: Paranormal, Supernatural, Mystery, Adult Fiction

It’s been two months since the fiery events of Burned to a Crisp, and it’s Christmas in Enumclaw. Hedy is back to hosting visitors in her waystation, while Mel and Darro are decking the halls and telling tales of Krampus in between batches of cannibal Gingerbread Men cookies—just another Christmas at The Gingerbread Hag bakery.

But the holiday spirit isn’t the only thing making its way through Enumclaw. Something definitely from the naughty list is attacking the local farms and the children are possessed with mischief. Hedy’s worries increase when the Concierge sends someone to investigate her house and possibly shut the waystation down for good.

Who’s been naughty, and who’s been nice? Not every gift under the tree is one she’ll want to open, but Hedy better hurry, before all of Enumclaw gets caught In the Teeth of It.

Here we are back at The Gingerbread Hag bakery, a fictional bakery that I want to visit in real life. Hedy is dealing with the aftermath of the events in book one, when Lyssa, a demi-goddess brought chaos to the small town of Enumclaw. Now it’s Christmas time and Hedy has new visitors staying at her waystation but the threat of Lyssa is still real, though no one knows where she is.

This story is a Christmas in July treat! Reading this book made me yearn for cooler weather, Christmas decorations, a cup of hot tea and maybe a sweet delight from The Gingerbread Hag bakery. 😋

In the Teeth of It, the second book of the The Gingerbread Hag Mystery series, introduces us to some new characters. The menagerie from book one makes an appearance as well, though it seemed a lot more brief this time around. I do wish we had more time with my favorite talking animals and ghost in this book, hopefully they are featured more in book three.

I love how this series takes place in a small town, but it’s filled with diverse characters of different ethnicities and supernatural powers. I really enjoyed the new characters, Yami – a kitsune (fox) and Raluca – a Moroi (vampire). I’ve always loved the Moroi and Strogoi legends so I really enjoyed Raluca’s character a lot.

Hedy is a great main character with her signature style: beehive hair and a 1960’s style wardrobe. She’s always a gracious host and storekeeper making friends wherever she goes. But this time around we also get a glimpse of Hedy’s past and I can’t wait to find out more of her time in New Orleans! It sounds intriguing! There was less havoc caused in this book compared to book one, but I think that was okay because it got me into such a cozy holiday mood.

Author, K.A. Miltimore always infuses her stories with the strange, different and interesting whether it comes to baked goods, supernatural creatures, mythology or legends. I look forward to the next book in the series. If you like quick reads and mystery stories with supernatural elements, then definitely give this series a try!

Get it here: Amazon

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

About the Author of the book:

K. A. Miltimore is a writer living in the Pacific Northwest who has followed the advice of her 5th grade teacher, Miss Hammond, and become a writer. She loves mid-century fashion, 80s music and nachos (not necessarily in that order). With her husband and son, she loves exploring quirky local towns, and dreams of dragging them both to Iceland for a tour someday. Her tombstone will likely read “Always Creating”. In addition to writing, she enjoys making jewel spiders, looking for great Washington red wines, and re-watching the movies that she has forgotten over the years.

adult fiction, book review

ARC Review | Ghost Fire

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Title: Ghost Fire

Author: Wilbur Smith with Tom Harper

Format: Paperback (owned)

Pages: 432

Publication Date: September 3, 2019

Categories: War, Military, Sex, Historical Fiction, Adult Fiction

Disclaimer: I won a copy of this ARC from – all opinions and thoughts are my own.

1754. Inseparable since birth and growing up in India, Theo and Connie Courtney are torn apart by the tragic death of their parents.

Theo, wracked with guilt, strikes a solitary path through life. Haunted by the spirits of lovers and family members, he is determined to atone for his mistakes. He seeks salvation in combat and conflict, joining the British in the war against the French and Indian army.

Believing herself abandoned by her brother, and abused and brutalised by a series of corrupt guardians, Connie vows never to let any man own her. Instead, she uses her beauty to manipulate her way to France, where she is welcomed into high society. But Connie once again finds herself at the mercy of vicious men, whose appetite for war and glory lead her to the frontlines of the French battlefield in North America.

As the siblings find their destinies converging once more, they realise that the vengeance and redemption they both desperately seek could cost them their lives . . .

An epic story of tragedy, loss, betrayal and courage that brings the reader deep into the seething heart of the French Indian War.

Thank you to Bookishfirst for giving me an opportunity to win this book.

I didn’t realize this book was part of an extensive series until after I completed the book. With that said, I surprisingly read this book in a few hours! It is a historical fiction novel spanning many locations across the globe like India, France and America. It follows two characters, siblings Theo and Constance Courtney, who’s father was once part of the East India Trading Company.

The writing is sharp and blunt as the the story navigates from one event to another, tearing our characters, violently apart. The story takes you on a journey through exotic locales. I felt the muggy air of India in my lungs as I was reading it and could only imagine what it was like being caught in a war there in the late 1700’s. I could envision the stealth of the Abenaki Indians as they hunted down their enemies in the woods of North America. But I almost had to skim the parts of the scalping.

The story is gruesome at times, but war is never pretty. Theo’s story arc is quite involved and epic and I definitely cheered him on, hoping he would be okay in the end. I gravitated to his story more because he seemed to have nine lives! He went from being a scrawny red head young man to a stealthy, brave, strategic fighter and leader. My other favorite character in this book is Moses, an Abenaki Indian who befriends Theo.

As for Constance, I had a big issue with her character. She came off selfish even before their lives go horribly wrong. But why was the one main female character in this book made to take such awful abuse from men in this book? At first I didn’t like her because she seemed to not give a care after her parents die. I felt Theo’s anguish, but where was hers? I understand the time period wasn’t kind to women back then, but I felt like every woman that Theo met or any of the men Constance encountered back then sexualized females constantly in this story. Was Constance really just there to take the abuse from men? I did not enjoy that part of the book at all.

This book has lots of action, lots of fighting and military strategy. I especially enjoyed Theo’s time with the Abenaki Indians where he finally gets to meet a woman and truly get to know her. But the writing is so brisk that it doesn’t spend much time with the characters growing relationships. Like the relationship between Theo and Connie felt one sided, all from Theo’s side. At times I felt Connie could care less about her brother. The best relationship in this book is between Theo and Moses, because we see their friendship grow.

I don’t usually read this type of book, I used to years ago, but lately I’ve stuck to romance and young adult. For me the locations and historical aspects of this book were my favorite parts. The female characterization, I did not enjoy as much.

If you are already a fan of the other books in this series, then I’m sure you will enjoy this one. This is the first book of Wilbur Smith’s that I have read, and it read pretty good just by itself.

Get it here: Amazon

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thanks!