BOOK REVIEW: Playmaker (Moo U #8) by Sierra Hill

BOOK REVIEW: Playmaker (Moo U #8) by Sierra HillPlaymaker (Moo U #8)
by Sierra Hill
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

There’s no faking it in love or hockey...

Transferring to a new school under false pretenses is harder than I expected, especially when my cocky new housemate, Callan Thomas, annoys me at every pass. He’s treated like a god and revered by everyone on campus. Too bad he made me feel like a rejected fool the first night we met.

But that doesn’t stop me from accepting his offer to become his fake girlfriend, because he has skills that I need. Only Callan can help me improve my game and make the USA women’s hockey team.

I try to keep despising him, but he keeps proving my first impression was wrong. And the more time I spend with him, the more complex my feelings become. I need to tell him the truth about who I really am before anyone finds out and things go too far.

Problem is, I think they already have...

Review

Even though I “messed up” and read Goalkeeper first in this last chunk (honestly you don’t HAVE to read them in order but I still feel like I should have ACTUALLY READ that one before Playmaker and Snowballed since it was the last of the entire Moo U series) I am kind glad I did because these last two I read were top favorites!

I’ve mentioned this before with Halftime but I reallllly enjoyed the ones where we got to see the heroine playing hockey, too. This one in particular had one of my favorite tropes where Aria, one of the MCs was a great player BUT still could benefit from her housemate and love interest, Callan. They worked out a deal–Aria pretends to be his girlfriend in order to get certain pests to back off and Cal in return helps her with a few things on the ice.

The chemistry these two had from the very beginning was plain as day. Of course it wasn’t smooth sailing from the beginning (apparently these hockey players really struggle with not committing to any relationships during the season except for when these idiots do anyway lolol) it was obvious they couldn’t stay away from one another. They did antagonize each other for a good chunk of the beginning which again, I loved. Per usual there was family drama but nothing that put me off or took away from the story. Highly enjoyed this one!

Huge thanks to Heart Eyes Press for allowing me to read this eARC early in exchange for my honest review!

 

BOOK REVIEW: These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights #1) by Chloe Gong

BOOK REVIEW: These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights #1) by Chloe GongThese Violent Delights Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.

Perfect for fans of The Last Magician and Descendant of the Crane, this heart-stopping debut is an imaginative Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, with rival gangs and a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River.

**arc provided by Riveted by Simon Teen in exchange for an honest review**

His words had a physical force to them-multiple stinging hits that struck her skin. Juliette could hardly breathe, never mind find the energy to speak, to continue, the staged whispers of their screaming match. She hated him so much. She hated that he was right. She hated that he was inciting this reaction in her. And most of all, she hated that she had to hate him, because if she didn’t, the hatred would turn right back in herself and there would be nothing to hate except her own weak will.

So few books surprise me these days. It’s not simply because I’ve seen it or read it before, but more that delivery is such a special thing, a delicate thing. It can be done well frequently, and I always-almost always-love my tired and true tropes. But then there are the times when an author tweaks it just right, twists a scene, a revelation, a reveal in a whole new way, a burst of shining light that blinds you behind even your closed eyelids. Those are the authors who wow you. Those are the authors that stick with you. THOSE are the authors that knock you out of your seat…that shock you. And that is me-here. Now. Forever. Because Roma and Juliette may be the ultimate cliche (And I have and always and forever will be a fan of it)…but never in my life have I been so moved by it, and never in my life have I seen it done so beautifully monstrous.

The warning that radiates from such a sound is not a deniable sensation. It is not the sort of paranoia one feels when they think they are being followed down an abandoned junction; nor is it the sort of panic that ensues when a floorboard creaks in a house thought empty. It is solid, tangible-it almost exudes a moisture into the air, a weight pressing down on bare skin. It is a threat as obvious as a gun to the face, and yet there is a moment of inaction, a moment of hesitation.


I knew the moment I picked this up that it was special. That’s crazy, but its true. For reference, I text not one, not two, but THREE friends after two pages and said just that: This is fresh. This is new. This was made just for me (save, the bugs). This is unique. Because it was. It was made just for me. The drama without being dramatic. The intrigue without the info-dump. The irony of a monstrous book being beautifully written. The subtle perils. And, obviously, the tortured, misunderstood, star-crossed lovers romance. Hook. Line. Sinker.

For months they flirted and pretended and toed the line between enemy and friend, both knowing who the other was but neither admitting to it, both trying to gain something from this friendship but being uncareful, falling too deep without knowing.


But, somehow, its even more than that. A friend mentioned this book to me and, honestly, I pushed it off. It looked good, but it hadn’t been on my radar and I’m just now back on my regular reading schedule-I am being delightfully picky, because I can. Because I missed out on so many books in the past three years because of life and children and many tired nights. But then I was approached by a publishing contact and was shortly after given the wondrous opportunity to feature this book on all my platforms…and I got a feeling deep in my gut I needed to read this as soon as possible. Don’t ask me why, I just knew. Deep in my bones, I knew. This book was going to really be something, and I couldn’t wait to discover it-uncover what made it so alluring.

“We are not kids anymore, Tyler. And if you are to threaten me with outrageous accusations, then you will answer for them.”
A soft laugh. “How so?” Tyler rasped. “Will you kill me right here in the hallway? Ten paces away from the breakfast table?”
Juliette pressed the knife in deeper. A stream of blood started down her cousin’s cheek, trailed into the lines of her palm, dripped along her arm.
Tyler had stopped laughing.
“I am the heir of the Scarlet Gang,” Juliette said. Her voice had grown just as sharp as her weapon. “And believe me, tangdi, I will kill you before I let you take it from me.”


And it’s really simple. This book was just a well-written, fast-paced, strong characters, enemies-to-lovers smorgasbord of a contagion mystery that I clearly wasn’t prepared for. I really and truly had no idea it would be so heavily…itchy. My skin crawled with the vivid imagery and masterfully in-depth descriptions. This book truly made you feel as though you were a part of it, that you, too, were about to rip your throat to shreds with the madness. Oh-side note-this book is NOT for the squeamish or people with entomophobia. You will not like this. My head STILL itches as I write this review a night after the conclusion. Pity, though, because underneath all that chaos, there is utter beauty on each and every page.

Roma was a liar through and through-his tactics of persuasion knew no bounds.
When Roma came out, however, it was immediately clear in the slouch of his head that he hadn’t gotten what he wanted.
“Don’t look so smug,” he whispered while Juliette passed him.
“That’s just my face,” she hissed back.


And, even more than that, the depth of this novel lies in the cast of characters Gong has created. Obviously there are the two rival families, just like Romeo and Juliet, and the details, for me, are fuzzy because it was something I read in High School, but it all felt so detailed and imaginative and a wonderful homage to the namesake it is loosely based off of. The friendships, the trust, the betrayals among this group of friends, old lovers, and family swept me in and kept me captive…but the real heart-stoppers were my beloved Juliette and loyal Roma…obviously.

Memories were beastly little creatures, after all-they rose with the faintest whiff of nourishment.


I’ll admit I waited on a bated breath to see what had torn these two apart. The looks, the touches, the betrayal in their hearts and the accusations in their eyes. It was clear they were far from over, yet couldn’t find trust or reason in the other. Juliette, known to be ruthless in the name of family and her gang, was hurt years ago by Roma, the leader of her rival gang, and she thinks she has recovered from it…when clearly she is like any other girl. She can act tough. She can act like she doesn’t need him or want him or cherish their past time together, but, in the end, at the faintest moment of his undivided attention, her heart stutters and she feels herself weakening…but she’d never let him know that.

The pain of it was almost physical. The years had worn on between them, had aged them into monsters with human faces, unrecognizable against old photos. Yet no matter how much she wanted to forget, it was like no time had passed at all.


And I think that’s the crux of it for me-these two clearly have feelings for one another but can’t seem to find trust enough to show their feelings. This kind of heart-wrenching dynamic is what I live for-They would do anything for one another, but they won’t show their hands, they skirt around half-truths and pretty lies to keep the other at arms’ length…and I am totally here for it. The switch of POV from Juliette to Roma back to Juliette gives the most amazing depth and so many layers of perception, all leading up to the crescendo that is their past confronting them in the most pivotal, daring, and dangerous moments. It made my heart sing to see ugly truths spill, to see destruction and chaos rain down upon them as they confessed their deepest truths. And, even still, keeping their worst and darkest moments in their back pocket.

A long time ago, Roma had told Juliette that her anger was like a cold diamond. It was something she could swallow smoothly, something to be placed upon other people, gliding along their skin in glitter and glamour before they realized far too late that the diamond had sliced them into pieces. He had admired her for it. Mostly because his own anger was the precise opposite-an uncontrollable wave of fire that knew no subtlety.
And it had arrived.



To say this book made my soul ignite with light and emanate from within would be an understatement, and to imply it was anything less than extraordinary would be selling it short. I can’t comprehend how or why this book spoke so deeply to me or why it enraptured me so, but it did, and the moment I started it I felt everything click, and everything just felt right. It’s not often I start a book and the first few moments pull me in and I know I’m going to love it right then and there, but when it does it’s nothing short of a miracle and I take it to heart, because it’s just. So. Rare.

Roma‘s control was slipping through his fingers like fine grains of sand. When he closed his fist, there were almost no grains left for him to hold on to. His hands were almost empty.



***

It was a haunting. He had buried Juliette like a corpse beneath the floorboards, content to live with the ghosts that whispered to him in his sleep. Seeing her again was like finding the corpse beneath the floorboards to not only have resurrected, but to be pointing a gun right at his head.



Roma’s broken heart that we can’t quite understand mixed with Juliette’s hardened [also] broken heart was a symphony of misunderstanding we got a front row seat to, that made it impossible to put TVD down. I have NO clue how book two will go, if I will fall as hard as I did for the this story, but if it has even a fraction of the boy tears (I just…it’s a favorite thing, okay?) and heart breaks and betrayals…of the action and mayhem and darkness, I will be an utter fool for it, and lord help anyone who doesn’t want to hear me talk about it, because it will not go over well. In short: you’re going to hear about it anyway-bugs and all. Now I’m off to wash my hair. And that is all.

She…hoped. And hope was dangerous. Hope was the most vicious evil of them all, the thing that had managed to thrive in Pandora’s box among misery, and disease, and sadness-and what could endure alongside others with such teeth if it didn’t have ghastly claws of its own?


************

This. Book. Was. EPIC. My heart is still pounding and my stomach is in knots. No idea how I’m supposed to wait for the second.

But MAN does my head itch.

Review to come


REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: 10 Truths and a Dare by Ashley Elston

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: 10 Truths and a Dare by Ashley Elston

I’m so excited to be on the tour for 10 Truths and a Dare! I absolutely loved and adored this story! So check out my 5 Star Review below and enter to win a copy of this book! Enjoy!♥

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: 10 Truths and a Dare by Ashley Elston10 Truths and a Dare by Ashley Elston
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

This companion to Ashley Elston's beloved 10 Blind Dates follows Sophie's high-achieving cousin Olivia as she juggles last-minute P.E. credit, end-of-year parties, and a secret new romance in the chaotic week before graduation.

It's Senior Party Week, that magical in-between time after classes have ended but before graduation, chock-full of gimmicky theme parties, last-minute bonding, and family traditions. Olivia couldn't be more ready. Class salutatorian and confident in her future at LSU, she's poised to sail through to the next phase of her life.
But when the tiny hiccup of an unsigned off-campus P.E. form puts Olivia in danger of not graduating at all, she has one week to set things straight without tipping off her very big and very nosy extended family.

Volunteering to help at a local golf tournament should do it, but since Olivia's mom equipped her phone with a tracking app, there'll be no hiding the fact that she's at the golf course instead of all the graduation parties happening at the same time. Unless, that is, she can convince the Fab Four--her ride-or-die cousins and best friends Sophie, Charlie, and Wes--to trade phones with her as they go through the motions of playing Olivia for the week.

Praise for 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston:
2020 ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers Top Ten Title
2020 Florida Teens Read Book List

"POSITIVELY DELIGHTFUL—all caps—from beginning to end."—NPR

"This piece-by-piece romance doesn't need its Christmas theme to sell, but it makes it glitter all the more."—Booklist

"A fun story of finding love, getting to know yourself, and getting to know your family."—Kirkus Reviews

"In a funny holiday romance that has Sophie dog-sitting in a hockey rink, watching porn at a drive-in theater, and playing the Virgin Mary in a middle school Nativity, Elston cleverly reflects the family members' personalities through their choices of dates for Sophie."—Publishers Weekly

Review:

10 Truths and a Dare was impossible not to devour in one sitting!  Charm, humor, family, friendship and romance were laced throughout the pages and I loved every minute of it.  If you’re looking for a beachy read or a feel good, heart-warming story then this is the book for you!  It became an instant favorite and I have a feeling fans of YA romance will fall in love with 10 Truths and a Dare too.

Truth #1: If something happens but your nonna doesn’t find out about it and tell the whole family, then it didn’t really happen

I had already fallen madly in love with these characters in 10 Blind Dates.  Oh how I have missed this huge family and their dynamics, I love them so much!  In this story, it’s senior week and Olivia is ready to celebrate with all of her classmates before she gives her speech as their salutatorian.  Yet there’s one tiny problem.  Olivia is short a half credit, from her off campus PE class, and can’t graduate without it.  With the help of her best friends, surely she can make it up.  Yet what unfolds is definitely more challenging than she ever thought it would be!

Remember that time Olivia almost didn’t graduate because she screwed up golf?  Four years whittled down to one sentence.
This will not be my legacy.

I loved Olivia with my whole heart.  She was kind, thoughtful, loved her family and was so relatable.  She sometimes stacked too much on her plate, but she always had her best friends at her side to cheer her on.  With her mom out of town, and constantly tracking Olivia’s every move on her phone, she needed help babysitting her phone while she made up her credit at the golf course.  Her cousins Charlie and Sophie, along with Sophie’s boyfriend/Charlie’s best friend Wes stepped in to help Olivia with her problem.

“This is a bad idea,” I say, when Sophie’s car pulls away from the curb.
“We’re full of bad ideas. So what’s one more?”

Olivia, Charlie, Sophie and Wes were the Fab Four and I loved their connection.  Their moments together reminded me of the comfort I get watching my favorite show Friends.  They just felt like home to me and were so real.  Their love and friendship for each other ran so deep; they always had each other’s backs.  Their moments together had me laughing out loud and I couldn’t stop smiling.  This group was SO much fun and each one of them easily captured my heart!

“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t driving me nuts that I’m keeping your secret but I don’t know why.” His voice is a near whisper.
My eyes stay glued to my phone. “I’m okay with you lying.”
I have a smirk. I can feel it. I cannot make it go away.

And then there was Leo.  He was a family friend to Olivia’s evil twin cousins.  So even though I was intrigued by him, he willingly associated with them.  If you’ve read 10 Blind Dates you’ll understand my animosity towards her twin cousins, the drive-in….I just can’t even lol.  So Leo should feel tainted, right?!  But oh my goodness you guys, I loved Leo.  He captured my heart so easily.  He gave me butterflies and I couldn’t help smiling anytime he was near.  That’s all I’m saying, but I dare you not to fall for Leo!

Dare #1: Tell the truth

10 Truths and a Dare touched a piece of my heart.  This story was filled with warmth and love, but I also had tears too.  I loved how this story unfolded, I loved all of the emotions it pulled from me and I loved watching Olivia grow.  I finished this book in one sitting and it easily sailed onto my favorites list.  I can’t recommend it enough!

L: Maybe I’ll see you when he’s not around
She’s probably going to kill me for this.
ME:Come find me later – Charlie with Olivia’s phone haha

PS I would love for Charlie to have his own story!  I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.  And the moments we got to spend with Charlie, like when he was watching over Olivia’s phone, he leaped from the pages!  Keeping my fingers crossed!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

 

Goodreads I Amazon I Kindle I Audible I B&N I iBooks I Kobo I TBD I Bookshop.org

 

About Ashley Elston:

Ashley Elston is the author of several novels including: 10 Blind Dates (a Top Ten ALA Quick Pick and the companion to this book), The Rules for Disappearing (a finalist in the Best Young Adult Novel category of the International Thriller Writers Thriller Awards), This Is Our Story, and The Lying Woods. She has a liberal arts degree from Louisiana State University in Shreveport and worked for many years as a wedding photographer before turning her hand to writing. Ashley lives in Shreveport with her husband and three sons. For more information about Ashley and her books, please visit www.ashleyelston.com.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

 

Giveaway:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of 10 TRUTHS AND A DARE, US Only.

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

5/1/2021

The Book View

Review

Week Two:

5/2/2021

What A Nerd Girl Says

Excerpt

5/3/2021

YA Books Central

Excerpt

5/4/2021

Fire and Ice

Review

5/5/2021

BookHounds YA

Excerpt

5/6/2021

YA Book Nerd

Review

5/7/2021

Lifestyle of Me

Review

5/8/2021

Moonlight Rendezvous

Review

Week Three:

5/9/2021

Jenguerdy

Review

5/10/2021

Ficticiouswonderland

Review

5/11/2021

Book-Keeping

Review

5/12/2021

Amani’s Reviews

Review

5/13/2021

booksaremagictoo

Review

5/14/2021

Eli to the nth

Review

5/15/2021

Emelie’s Books

Review

Week Four:

5/16/2021

Kait Plus Books

Excerpt

5/17/2021

Zainey Laney

Review

5/18/2021

onemused

Review

5/19/2021

Midnightbooklover

Review

5/20/2021

amandainpa

Review

5/21/2021

Geauxgetlit

Review

5/22/2021

two points of interest

Review

Week Five:

5/23/2021

Book Briefs

Review

5/24/2021

Momfluenster

Review

5/25/2021

Star-Crossed Book Blog

Review

5/26/2021

michellemengsbookblog

Review

5/27/2021

Rajiv’s Reviews

Review

5/28/2021

Do You Dog-ear?

Review

5/29/2021

Books and Zebras

Review

Week Six:

5/30/2021

My Fictional Oasis

Review

5/31/2021

Popthebutterfly

Review


 

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Immortal Game by Talia Rothschild & A.C. Harvey

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Immortal Game by Talia Rothschild & A.C. Harvey

I’m so excited to be on the tour for The Immortal Game! I’m a huge Greek Mythology fan and there was so much to love within these pages! Checkout my 4.5 Star Review below and enter to win a copy of this book! Enjoy ♥

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Immortal Game by Talia Rothschild & A.C. HarveyThe Immortal Game by Talia Rothschild & A.C. Harvey by Talia Rothschild, A.C. Harvey
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

An exiled goddess goes on a quest to clear her name and save Mount Olympus in Talia Rothschild & A C Harvey's action-packed young adult debut, The Immortal Game!

Galene, daughter of Poseidon, desperately wants to earn her place among the gods. But when a violent attack leaves Mount Olympus in chaos and ruins, she is accused of the crime. Banished from Olympus, Galene sets out to prove her innocence and discovers a more deadly plot―one that threatens even the oldest of Immortals.

Fortunately, she has allies who willingly join her in exile:

A lifelong friend who commands the wind.
A defiant warrior with deadly skill.
A fire-wielder with a hero’s heart.
A mastermind who plays life like a game.

All-out war is knocking at the gates. Galene and her friends are the only ones who can tip the scales toward justice, but their choices could save Olympus from total annihilation, or be the doom of them all.

Review:

The Immortal Game was an enthralling story that swept me away!  Trials, friendship, teamwork, and twists laced through the pages and made for such an exciting read!  If you’re a fan of Greek mythology, then you should definitely pick up this book.

I’m the reason they’re leaving, Galene thought with a heartthrob, and they’re more prepared for this than I am.

This story started off with heart pounding scenes that quickly pulled me in.  The children of the Gods and Goddesses had to battle a combination of mythological creatures that were terrifying.  Upon winning their Trial, they were granted eternal life.  But from Galene’s Trial, she was led down a path where she was accused of a deadly attack and banished from her home, Mount Olympus.  In a quest to prove her innocence she was joined by four others.  The journey and this group of outcasts had me turning the pages as fast as I could to see what happened next!

“Being a hero is about fighting for something bigger than yourself, despite the obstacles, despite the fear.” He caught her gaze again. “You did that for Galene. You do that every day.” – Braxtus and Iyana

My heart became attached so quickly to this group of outcasts.  We had Galene daughter of Poseidon, Iyana daughter of Zeus, Kostas son of Hermes, Braxtus son of Apollo and Demitri son of Ares.  With every step they took, it felt like there was an insurmountable obstacles in their way.  Not only was it physically challenging, and we got to watch the powers and gifts each of them had.  But it was also mentally taxing too.  They knew they had to work together, even if there were struggles between some of those in the group.  So I loved watching them learn to trust, put faith and try to have each other’s backs every step of the way.

She tumbled backward through the air.
And smiled.
Stretching her hands to either side, she unleashed the tempest inside her.

The story alternated between four of the characters and while that’s usually not my thing, I loved this format!  Each of them became that much more entrenched in my heart and I was shocked how equally invested I was in each of them!  My heart ached as they faced different fears and worked their way through personal struggles.  But from beginning to end they grew.  And the friendship between Galene and Iyana and Kostas and Braxtus warmed my heart.  On top of that, there were two different romances I was rooting for.  I don’t want to say anymore other than my heart was so, so, so happy with how it all turned out!  Plus I loved that this story made it feel as though I was watching a movie play before my eyes. 

Galene fell, a sob tearing from her lungs.
Gold ichor pooled around his head, his bare arms and legs stained with deep golden bruises. His eyes were closed, his lips parted, his body still.
She clawed her way to him, shuddering with sobs.

The Immortal Game led us down a path filled with peril and friendship!  If you love Greek Mythology, like I do, you’re going to fall head over heels in love with all of the elements that can be found in this tale.  From the characters, to their richly imagined world, to even the mythical creatures that nightmares were created from, so much can be found in these pages!  I was so happy that my favorite Gods, Goddesses and even creatures I was terrified of were included in this epic quest and battle.  This is a book I can’t wait for my littles to read and I think it would be a great transition for when they’re ready to step from MG to YA!

“Believe it or not, I still don’t want to hurt you.”
“Funny,” she growled. “Because I do.”
She pulled back and let a spike fly.

PS  While this is a standalone that ends absolutely fabulously, I can definitely see other stories panning out in this world in the future *fingers crossed*.

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

 

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

 

About Talia Rothschild & A.C. Harvey:

Talia Rothschild, Italian American, is passionate about stories in many forms—music, dance, photography, film and, of course, great novels. She believes in thick hot chocolate and creamer in your tea. When she’s not happily writing, she’s mothering the sweetest baby girl and making memories with her husband. Her debut book The Immortal Game, coauthored with A. C. Harvey, hits the shelves May 2021.

Ashleigh Harvey is teaching high school physics and bringing her writing dreams to life. English-born and world-traveled, she loves filling her life with new adventures, such as visiting a new country or exploring the Wild West with her husband. She also finds escape in movies, music, literature, and yearly comic conventions. The Immortal Game is her debut novel, created alongside Talia Rothschild, her close friend.

 

Giveaway:


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BOOK REVIEW: A Wicked and Beautiful Garden (Witches of the Island #1) by Katie McGarry

BOOK REVIEW: A Wicked and Beautiful Garden (Witches of the Island #1) by Katie McGarryA Wicked and Beautiful Garden (Witches of the Island #1)
by Katie McGarry
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Twenty-eight year-old Cassie Strega can’t escape fate.

All she wants is to live a normal, quiet life delivering the babies in her small town. But when she discovers she comes from a lineage of witches, her life becomes extraordinary—in the gravely dangerous type of way.

Then, she’s reunited with her first love.

Orion, the sultry Fae warrior who broke her heart years before, is searching for a baby. Not just any baby, but the queen of the Fae who will one day lead them in their final battle against the demons determined to rule the world. The same baby who has been calling to Cassie for help in her dreams.

Fighting the intense attraction of their former blood bond, Cassie and Orion work together to find the child. But when the heartbreak that nearly destroyed Cassie nine years before looms once more, she’ll have to decide whether getting involved in the supernatural war is worth losing everything, including her life.

Review:

A Wicked and Beautiful Garden was an enchanting tale that will sweep you away!  With magic, questions and the unknown swirling around, it made this book impossible to put down.  If you’re a fan of fantasy or urban fantasy, then you’ll definitely want this one on your tbr!

Once upon a time, I had fallen in love with him, and to him, I was nothing more than a momentary distraction.

Cassie Strega was kind, caring and felt so much around her.  She loved her job of delivering babies and living in her quiet, little town.  So when her ex walked back into her life, everything changed.  The loss of Orion had devastated Cassie years ago.  Little did she know that she would need his help soon.  The world was about to wake up knowing that witches exist, and Cassie was one of them.  But he needed her help too.  Orion, who was Fae, was searching for a baby.  She was their queen who was to lead them into battle against the demons.  And that same baby had been calling to Cassie.  With so much at stake and up in the air, their fates were irrevocably tied together…for now.

“Take what you need from me, Cass.” His hot breath tickled my ear. “Take everything and all you need. I’m yours.”

I wasn’t sure what to think of Orion MacAleese at first.  He was a warrior Fae that was tasked with finding their queen.  And while he didn’t always play by the rules, it was obvious that he still cared for Cassie.  Fiercely.  He would do anything to protect her and he showed her time and again exactly that with his actions and words.  While Orion could be thoughtful and caring, he also had kept many secrets from Cassie.  And Cassie struggled with his deception and secrets, while trying to ignore the passion that was running between them.

Making the strands a rugged mess, Orion shoved a frustrated hand through his hair. “What do you want me to say?”
I slapped my palm against the table. “I want the truth!” I whisper-shouted . “I want this black hole in my brain to be gone. I want to know what happened to us!”

I loved learning about Cassie’s powers right along with her.  She had always been able to read human’s emotions, but as she learned about controlling the elements I was fascinated.   I also loved watching what Orion was capable of, I was jealous of his transporting skills!  But with life and death situations surrounding them, and fate constantly pushing them together, it was hard to ignore all of the emotions there.  Cassie tried her best to keep Orion at an arm’s length away, but as we got peaks into their past it was so obvious how wonderful they were together.  As they continued to work on their common goal, to find the baby, it became harder to ignore that they belonged together.  And the chemistry, lust and love that swirled around them.

“Heaven, hell and earth, Cassie. I will move each and every single one for you.”

A Wicked and Beautiful Garden will keep readers hooked from beginning to end!  I’m so happy that the ending was the perfect stopping spot!  We got to breathe for a moment and even got a few answers, but there are still so many unanswered questions.  From how their world worked, to those around Cassie, to even her past, I can’t wait to learn it all!  If you’re a fan of JLA, I think there may be a good chance you’ll enjoy this book!  There were quite a few elements in this series that reminded me of a few of JLA’s series, so if you like her stories then I think you’ll like this one too!  I can’t wait for that next book!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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