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BLOG TOUR + REVIEW + GIVEAWAY + INTERVIEW – Dark Debt (Chicagoland Vampires #11) by Chloe Neill

Here is my review for this wonderful story...it might be the best in the series, yet!  Be sure to also check out my interview with Chloe Neill and the two giveaways below!

BLOG TOUR + REVIEW + GIVEAWAY + INTERVIEW – Dark Debt (Chicagoland Vampires #11) by Chloe NeillDark Debt (Chicagoland Vampires #11)
by Chloe Neill
Add to: Goodreads

Review:
“If you touch her again, come near her again, I will tear you apart with my own bare hands, Master or not.”

There are so many things I love about this series. So many things I hold back after finishing a book because, really, how many times can you repeat all the same things you love about a consistently excellent series? I always do a mini-review, letting people know the main reasons I loved the story, and I hardly put all I truly feel into the review. Well, 7 mini-reviews later and I think it’s time I finally let all these built up emotions out-this book was excellent and people deserve to hear about it.

Ethan sighed. “It has nothing to do with pretty.”
“Not according to your brain,” I agreed. “But once again-”
Ethan held up a hand. “No need to repeat the point.”
“When I’m four hundred, do I get to date a twenty-five-year old?”
Ethan narrowed his gaze. “If you date anyone other than me at any point in your hopefully long and fruitful life, there will be trouble for both of us.”

I keep saying that these stories continue to get better, and it’s true, mostly, but there is something refreshing about a more sinister plot. Like, it’s known that when you pick up a Chicagoland Vampires book that there will be a mystery to solve, Ethan and Merit will have to conquer a new threat to their relationship, and there will be lots of love and snark exchanged between them. It’s a fact. It’s an inevitability. And I always get so excited to pick up the next new story. But this time there was something new. Sure, there’s always something new-But not like this.

Never has there been something that made me feel so icky about what could happen to Merit-or Ethan, for that matter. But when the return of an old figure from Ethan’s dark past reemerges, things begin to get….foggy. Merit’s defenses are down, Ethan isn’t (and can’t be) quick to save Merit, and no one can understand why, or how, this person is getting past their wards on the house. How does one protect another person’s mind? Is there even a way? And what happens when Ethan isn’t there to break the trance, and the next time he’s too late? What then?

There was nothing equivocal in his gaze, in the steadiness of his green eyes. “He was my nightmare, Merit. You are my miracle. He will not touch you again. Yes?”

Ethan, as always, was beyond words. He is so loyal to Merit and would do anything to keep her safe. And when Merit has a close run-in with this dangerous and mysterious enemy, it guts him that she recoils from his touch. She becomes withdrawn and so unlike herself, leaving everyone scrambling to keep the wards in place…even when there isn’t a break-anywhere in sight. It makes him moody, protective, possessive, and more than a little bit nervous (Waaaaiiittt, yeah, my bad he’s always like that-but, hey, it was a little more intense this time). Ethan likes to be in control, to be the alpha, to know he’s keeping the love of his life (and his house) safe. So, when bad things begin to surround his house, he’s more than unsettled.

“I like to think I’m more than the sum of my training.”
“You are,” Luc said. “There’s at least some hot beef or deep dish in there.”
“I am also more than Chicago foodstuffs.”
Ethan grinned at Luc. “Pumas? Diet Coke? Smart-assery?”
Luc snapped his fingers, pointed at Ethan. “Yes. And, like, three percent medieval literature.”
“You’re both hilarious. Really and truly. Comedy geniuses.”

And Merit. I adore this girl. She’s snarky, she’s funny, and she always has the best comebacks-I could be best friends with her. And, to top it all off, she can take care of herself. It’s not often you find a female lead with all the bells and whistles. But in this story, Merit feels violated, like she can’t defend herself even in her own home, in her own apartments, and with the man she loves sleeping right beside her. It’s a new kind of challenge for her and she spends the book doing everything she can to defend herself with no way of knowing what will work and when he’ll strike next….and what he’ll do to destroy the forever relationship she and Ethan have worked so hard to build.

Which was why Ethan returned to the apartments to find Mallory and me lying on the bed, television on, pooched stomachs taking a much needed breather.
“Oh, this is quite a sight,” Ethan said with obvious amusement, then spied the empty box of Mallocakes. “A vampire and sorceress done in by chocolate snack cakes.”
“Mallocake ‘splosion,” Mallory said weakly. “Pew, pew, pew.
“I think there’s one left.” I moved just enough to skim fingers against the box, tip it up. “Yep. One. You can have it.”
“Wait,” Mallory said, and put a hand on my arm while she deliberated, as if there was a chance she might be able to squeeze in one more. “No.” She waved me off. “I can’t. Go ahead.”
“This scenario isn’t really selling the Mallocake concept to me,” Ethan said.
“We’re having girl time.”
“Not the girl time I prefer to imagine, but so be it.”
“Perv,” Mallory said with a grin, rolling off the bed and trundling toward the door. “I’m going to roll myself downstairs.”
“Take care,” Ethan said. “And thank you for the ward.”
She burped indelicately.
“And that’s our powerful sorceress,” Ethan said, locking the door behind her.

I think the reason I liked this story so much was because of how it all progressed. There was a lot more action and it mixed really well with the banter and strategizing. I am so picky when it comes to this and I couldn’t have been happier with how it was all handled. There wasn’t a moment when I was bored or rushing to get past anything-every moment was important and every moment mattered. It was fast-paced and the love scenes were electric. Every minute was a rush as we tried to catch whoever was behind the sinister threats and when they were trying to defend the house. And, as always, the humor helped get us through every single moment.

I looked up at him. “Are you wooing me?”
“I’ve been wooing you since the moment our eyes locked on the first floor of this house.”
I gave him a flat look. “No, that’s when you accused me of being spoiled.”
“Details,” he said lightly, mouth drawn into a crooked grin.

So, I know that I gush a lot about these characters, but they are very dear to me and I am fully invested in whatever may happen to them. I want nothing more than for the prophecy to come about and for happy things to occur regularly for Ethan and Merit. Their love is tangible and it leaps off every page-every look, every touch, every embrace-they were made for each other. I cannot wait to see where the rest of the stories go, because this series has my heart. If you haven’t tried, you need to go and start these books now. You won’t regret it!

 

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 Interview:

Very rarely do we get the opportunity as readers to get inside the mind of our favorite authors, but Chloe Neill has offered to answer a few questions for the blog tour! Take a peek at what she had to say:

 

1. Just as your books inspired other authors to write, what authors inspired you to write?

When I started writing, I’d been reading a lot of Rachel Caine, Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, and Stephanie Laurens, among others. I really loved reading stories in series, because you got to know the characters, the setting, and the little inside jokes and references that really made the book feel like a comfortable place to rest.

2. Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Emotional upset?

Action scenes are definitely the hardest for me to write, so the last scene I usually write in the book is an action scene that I’ve put off. 🙂 It’s difficult for me to imagine a three-dimensional fight, and then translate that into words for the two-dimensional page.  Banter is the easiest thing–I can write characters chatting all day long. But it doesn’t make for a very interesting scene.

3. Which of your Chicagoland Vampire characters would you most like to spend extended amounts of time with?

Probably Merit. I think we’d get along very well.  Or Damien, because I think he has a lot of interesting stories to tell. 🙂

4. If you could cast Ethan and Merit in a Hollywood adaption of your books, who would you choose to play their
characters?

David Beckham isn’t an actor, but he’ll always be Ethan for me. I don’t really have a specific girl in mind who epitomizes Merit, so I’m certainly open to suggestions!

Thanks for having me today!

 

dd_tour

 

I am so honored here today to be able to represent one of the most hilarious, sexy, and addictive series I’ve ever read. Not often do I, or we as a blog, stick with such long series. But since the beginning, Ethan and Merit have stolen my heart and and I am so happy I came across this wonderfully delicious series. If you have never read these stories, that’s a shame. But if you’re even a little bit curious, pick up the first book in the series, Some Girls Bite, and I swear you’ll be enthralled from page one. Thanks so much, Courtney Neill!

 

Dark Debt will be available on March 3rd.

Preorder Here on any of these sites!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Powells | Books-A-Million | Audible |Kobo | Indiebound

 

Giveaways:

Us Star-Crossed Ladies are ecstatic to have a special little giveaway of our own, courtesy of Chloe Neill! Hurry and ENTER TO WIN!

Packet includes:

    • Cadogan House cotton tote bag
    • Cadogan House keychain
    • An autographed international Chicagoland Vampires or Dark Elite novel
    • Swag, including Chicagoland Vampires bookmarks and pens, and Cadogan House lanyards

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 The fun doesn’t stop here. Want more chances to win? You can also enter the Dark Debt Grand Prize Giveaway, which runs February 23 through March 6 on Chloe’s web site.

What is the Grand Prize Giveaway prize?

      • An engraved Cadogan House medal necklace
      • A Kindle Paperwhite
      • Cadogan House cotton tote bag
      • Cadogan House keychian
      • Chicagoland Vampires bookmarks, pens, and lanyard

 

And here is a full list of all the other blogs participating on the tour:

Week One

Monday, February 23 – Finding Sanity in Our Crazy Life | Lore Lush Books
Tuesday, February 24 – Star Crossed Book Blog | Little Miss Book Addict’s House of Books
Wednesday, February 25 – Once Upon a Twilight | Krista’s Dust Jacket
Thursday, February 26 – Goldilox and the Three Weres | Angel’s Guilty Pleasures
Friday, February 27 – Feeling Fictional | Rabid Reads

Week Two

Monday, March 2 – Booklovers for Life | Bad Bird Reads
Tuesday, March 3 (Release Day) – Saucy Wenches Book Club | Nomi’s Paranormal Palace | Fangs, Wands & Fairy Dust | Vampire Book Club
Wednesday, March 4 – Ceres Book World | Book Infatuation Reviews 
Thursday, March 5 – Consummate Reader
Friday, March 6 – Little Read Riding Hood | Three Chicks After Dark

2015 Favorites from a Series

2015 Favorite Series.13 We are ecstatic that we get to share our lists of favorite books in a series with you! Below you will find our fabulous list that includes all of our favorite series that we read in 2015!  Even though we read them in 2015, they could have been released in a previous year.  Click our reviews to learn more about each book, or click on the cover to purchase a copy.  We hope you find some new books to add to your to-read list.
Enjoy!
♥ The Star-Crossed Ladies  

Group Favorite Series (2+ of us ♥ed)



Jen (new) & Chelsea (re-read)

the hunger games suzanne collins
Jen’s Review
Chelsea’s Review
catching fire suzanne collins
Jen’s Review
Chelsea’s Review
mockingjay suzanne collins
Jen’s Review
Chelsea’s Review

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Chelsea & Anna

i hunt killers barry lyga
Chelsea’s Review
Anna’s Review
game hunt killers barry lyga
Chelsea’s Review
Anna’s Review
blood of my blood barry lyga
Chelsea’s Review
Anna’s Review

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a drink before war dennis lehane
Chelsea’s Review
Anna’s Review
dennis lehane darkness, take my hand
Chelsea’s Review
Anna’s Review
dennis lehane sacred
Chelsea’s Review
Anna’s Review
dennis lehane gone baby gone
Chelsea’s Review
prayers for rain dennis lehane
Chelsea’s Review
 

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pines blake crouch
Chelsea’s Review
Anna’s Review
wayward blake crouch
Chelsea’s Review
Anna’s Review
the last town blake crouch
Chelsea’s Review
Anna’s Review

 

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Jen’s Favorite Series:
sins & needles karina halle
Jen’s Review
karina halle shooting scars
Jen’s Review
Bold Tricks Karina Halle Arttists Trilogy
Jen’s Review

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The Immortal Rules Julie Kagawa
Jen’s Review
the eternity cure julie kagawa
Jen’s Review
the forever song julie kagawa
Jen’s Review

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Broken Skies theresa kay
Jen’s Review
fractured suns theresa kay
Jen’s Review
 

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the return jennifer armentrout
Jen’s Review
   

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Chelsea’s Favorite Series:
dairy queen catherine gilbert murdock
Chelsea’s Review
the off season catherin gilbert murdock front and center catherin gilbert murdock

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dorothy must die danielle paige
Chelsea’s Review
the wicked will rise danielle paige
Chelsea’s Review
 

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an ember in the ashes sabaa tahir
Chelsea’s Review
   

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scarlet a.c. gaughen
Chelsea’s Review
Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen
Chelsea’s Review
lion heart a.c. gaughen
Chelsea’s Review

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unwind neal shusterman
Chelsea’s Review
unwholly neal shusterman
Chelsea’s Review
unsouled neal shusterman
undivided neal shusterman
Chelsea’s Review
   

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white cat holy black
Chelsea’s Review
Red Glove holly black
Chelsea’s Review
Black Heart holly black
Chelsea’s Review

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wild things chloe neill
Chelsea’s Review
blood games chloe neill
Chelsea’s Review
dark debt chloe neill
Chelsea’s Review

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brandon sanderson steelheart
Chelsea’s Review
firefight brandon sanderson
Chelsea’s Review
 

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the wrath & the dawn renee ahdieh
Chelsea’s Review
   

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angelfall susan ee
Chelsea’s Review
world after susan ee
Chelsea’s Review
end of days susan ee
Chelsea’s Review

 

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this is not a test courtney summers
Chelsea’s Review
please remain calm courtney summers
Chelsea’s Review
 

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Anna’s Favorite Series
prince of thorns mark lawrence
Anna’s Review
king of thorns mark lawrence
Anna’s Review
emperor of thorns mark lawrence
Anna’s Review

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finnikin of the rock melina marchetta
Anna’s Review
froi of the exiles melina marchetta
Anna’s Review
quintana of charyn melina marchetta
Anna’s Review

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injustice gods among us
Anna’s Review
injustice gods among us tom taylor  

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deadly class reagan youth
Anna’s Review
Deadly Class, Vol. 2 Kids of the Black Hole by Remender Craig loughridge Deadly Class, Vol. 3 The Snake Pit by Rick Remender

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joe abercrombie the blade itself
Anna’s Review
   
A Darker Shade final for Irene
Anna’s Review
   

 

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We hope you enjoyed our favorite series that we read in 2015 and that you found some fabulous new books to read!
If you want to check out more of our favorite books click to find out about our:
2015 Favorite Singles ✩✮✩ 2014 Favorites from a Series ✩✮✩ 2014 Favorite Singles.

Save

Save

FRIDAY STARS–Your Weekly Must Knows 02/27/15

 

Friday Stars

Click book covers for ordering.

Giveaways

We’re having a special little giveaway of our own, courtesy of Chloe Neill!  Enter to win a Cadogan House cotton tote bag, Cadogan House keychain, An autographed international Chicagoland Vampires or Dark Elite novel, Swag, including Chicagoland Vampires bookmarks and pens, and Cadogan House lanyards! Click Here

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Enter to win $20 Amazon Gift Card (INT) or Paperback Out of the Green: Tales from Fairyland, Paperback Sucker Literary Volume III by Kacey Vanderkarr (US only) Click Here

 

 

 

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Just Finished and Loved

Dark Debt (Chicagoland Vampires #11) by Chloe Neill – 5 Stars! This book was excellent and people deserve to hear about it. In the 1st book, Some Girls Bite – Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn’t exactly glamorous, but it was Merit’s. She was doing fine until a rogue vampire attacked her. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker and this one decided the best way to save her life was to make her the walking undead.  Turns out her savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now she’s traded sweating over her thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan Lord o the Manor Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four-hundred- year-old vampire, he has centuries’ worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects her gratitude? and servitude. But an inconvenient sunlight allergy and Ethan’s attitude are the least of her concerns. Someone’s still out to get her. Her initiation into Chicago’s nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war and there will be blood. Chelsea’s Review

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Just One Night (Sex, Love & Stiletto #3) by Lauren Layne – 5 Stars! This was an adorable friendship to lovers story. And when you became entangled in the heart of it all, it took an amazing turn into something that was raw and emotional. Definitely a must read!  Riley McKenna knows sex—good sex, bad sex, kinky sex. Her articles in Stiletto magazine are the publication’s most scandalous—and the most read. But when Stiletto’s fiftieth anniversary issue requires her column to get a lot more personal, Riley is forced to confront a long-hidden secret: Her own sexual experience is limited to one awkward college encounter. Now Riley is about to call in the favor of a lifetime from the one man who’s always held her heart. Jen’s Review


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Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers – 5 Stars! Venomous, tortuous, and pulse-pounding, this subtle book sneaks up on you and sinks it’s claws into your soul.  Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard–falling from it is even harder.  Regina Afton used to be a member of theFearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High… until vicious rumors about her and her best friend’s boyfriend start going around.  Now Regina’s been “frozen out” and her ex-best friends are out for revenge.  If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day.  She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully.  Friendship doesn’t come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend… if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don’t break them both first. Chelsea’s Review

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Please Remain Calm (This is Not a Test #2) by Courtney Summers – 5 Stars! It was very raw and heartbreaking, causing me to cry more than once-and this novella was, like, only 100 pages. I was shocked. Sequel to This Is Not a Testwhere it’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, herworld collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?Chelsea’s Review

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King of Thorns #2 & Emperor of Thorns #3 by Mark Lawrence5 Stars!  The ending was epic and satisfying and above that, surprised me. Hours after finishing it, I find myself both happy and disturbed, truly amazed.  In Prince of Thorns #1: When he was nine, he watched as his mother and brother were killed before him. At thirteen, he led a band of bloodthirsty thugs. By fifteen, he intends to be king… It’s time for Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath to return to the castle he turned his back on, to take what’s rightfully his. Since the day he hung pinned on the thorns of a briar patch and watched Count Renar’s men slaughter his mother and young brother, Jorg has been driven to vent his rage. Life and death are no more than a game to him—and he has nothing left to lose. But treachery awaits him in his father’s castle. Treachery and dark magic. No matter how fierce his will, can one young man conquer enemies with power beyond his imagining? Anna’s Review #2 &  #3

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Reading Next

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta – We’re all reading this next week and can’t wait to start!
“What do you want from me?” he asks. What I want from every person in my life, I want to tell him. More.  Abandoned by her mother on Jellicoe Road when she was eleven, Taylor Markham, now seventeen, is finally being confronted with her past. But as the reluctant leader of her boarding school dorm, there isn’t a lot of time for introspection. And while Hannah, the closest adult Taylor has to family, has disappeared, Jonah Griggs is back in town, moody stares and all.
In this absorbing story by Melina Marchetta, nothing is as it seems and every clue leads to more questions as Taylor tries to work out the connection between her mother dumping her, Hannah finding her then and her sudden departure now, a mysterious stranger who once whispered something in her ear, a boy in her dreams, five kids who lived on Jellicoe Road eighteen years ago, and the maddening and magnetic Jonah Griggs, who knows her better than she thinks he does. If Taylor can put together the pieces of her past, she might just be able to change her future.

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Upcoming Releases

The Trouble with Love (Sex, Love, & Stiletto Series #4) by Lauren Layne –  (Releases 3/03) As Stiletto magazine’s authority on all things breakup-and-heartache, Emma Sinclair writes from personal experience. Five years ago, Emma was Charlotte, North Carolina’s darling debutante and a blushing bride-to-be. Now she’s the ice queen of the Manhattan dating scene. Emma left her sultry Southern drawl behind, but not even her closest friends know that with it she left her heart. Now Emma’s latest article forces her to face her demons—namely, the devilishly sexy guy who ditched her at the altar.  After giving up everything for a pro-soccer career, Alex Cassidy watches his dreams crumble as a knee injury sidelines him for good. Now he’s hanging up his cleats and giving journalism a shot. It’s just a coincidence that he happens to pick a job in the same field, and the same city, as his former fiancée . . . right? But when Emma moves in next door, it’s no accident. It’s research. And Alex can’t help wondering what might have been. Unlike the innocent girl he remembers, this Emma is chic, sophisticated, and assertive—and she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. The trouble is, Alex has never wanted her more.

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The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski(Releases 3/03) In The Winner’s Curse #1 Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.  They were never meant to be together. As a general’s daughter, seventeen-year-old Kestrel enjoys an extravagant and privileged life. Arin has nothing but the clothes on his back. Then Kestrel makes an impulsive decision that binds Arin to her. Though they try to fight it, they can’t help but fall in love. In order to be together, they must betray their people . . . but to be loyal to their country, they must betray each other.  Set in a new world, The Winner’s Curse is a story of rebellion, duels, ballroom dances, wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

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Dark Debt (Chicagoland Vampires #11) by Chloe Neill (Releases 3/03) This book was excellent and people deserve to hear about it. In the 1st book, Some Girls Bite, Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn’t exactly glamorous, but it was Merit’s. She was doing fine until a rogue vampire attacked her. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker and this one decided the best way to save her life was to make her the walking undead.  Turns out her savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now she’s traded sweating over her thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan Lord o the Manor Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four-hundred- year-old vampire, he has centuries’ worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects her gratitude? and servitude. But an inconvenient sunlight allergy and Ethan’s attitude are the least of her concerns. Someone’s still out to get her. Her initiation into Chicago’s nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war and there will be blood.

 

Our Most Anticipated Releases For January

We love talking about books that we can’t wait to read! And that includes the ones that haven’t been released yet. So around the first day of every month, we’ll share with you the books coming out that we’re the most excited about. There’s a link to Goodreads in case you want to add them to your tbr too! So here are the books we are counting down until they are released in January.

 

Releases 1/08 – The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black

GoodreadsAmazonBook Depository

The enchanting and bloodthirsty sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel The Cruel Prince. You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring. The first lesson is to make yourself strong. After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished. When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

 

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Releases 1/08 – Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

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Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone has declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

 
 
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Releases 1/08 – The Au Pair by Emma Rous

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Seraphine Mayes and her twin brother, Danny, were born in the middle of summer at their family’s estate on the Norfolk coast. Within hours of their birth, their mother threw herself from the cliffs, the au pair fled, and the village thrilled with whispers of dark cloaks, changelings, and the aloof couple who drew a young nanny into their inner circle.

Now an adult, Seraphine mourns the recent death of her father. While going through his belongings, she uncovers a family photograph that raises dangerous questions. It was taken on the day the twins were born, and in the photo, their mother, surrounded by her husband and her young son, is smiling serenely and holding just one baby.

Who is the child, and what really happened that day?

 
 
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Releases 1/08 – Slayer (Slayer #1) by Kiersten White

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From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes a brand-new series set in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that introduces a new Slayer as she grapples with the responsibility of managing her incredible powers that she’s just beginning to understand.

Into every generation a Slayer is born…

Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.

Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.

Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.

As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…

But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next.

One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard.

 
 
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Releases 1/15 – The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi

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From New York Times bestselling author Roshani Chokshi comes a novel set in Paris during a time of extraordinary change–one that is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous desires…

No one believes in them. But soon no one will forget them.

It’s 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood.

Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history–but only if they can stay alive.

 
 
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Releases 1/17 – Tangled Like Us (Like Us #4) by Krista Ritchie & Becca Ritchie

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How to protect your heart:
Let your bodyguard have it.

Jane Cobalt is an American princess. The loyal and painfully curious twenty-three-year-old has inherited immense pressure to preserve the Cobalt legacy. But for Jane — sex, love, and life have been a series of royal failures.

After a friends-with-benefits ended in disaster, she’s sworn to a “no sex” hiatus for, well, eternity — and she has no intention of letting anyone in her bed and definitely not her heart.

Twenty-eight-year-old Thatcher Moretti is painfully professional. As the stern 24/7 bodyguard to Jane, thinking about unbridled sex with his sweet client is a sin. One that he keeps committing.

But the real act is a hard line he’d never cross.

When a family member betrays Jane’s trust, the media becomes obsessed with matchmaking the perpetually “single” Jane Cobalt and unwanted attention suddenly compromises her safety.

Thatcher would do anything to protect her, and one solution may level the threats:

Become the fake boyfriend to an American princess.

Entwined together with boiling chemistry, new “professional” parameters, and an oath, unsaid feelings threaten to rise and change everything.

​​The Like Us series is a true series, one continuous timeline, that follows a family of wealthy celebrities and the people that protect them.

 
 
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Releases 1/21 – We Shouldn’t by Vi Keeland

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From #1 New York Times Bestseller Vi Keeland, comes a new, sexy standalone novel.

Bennett Fox walked into my life on one hell of a crappy Monday morning.

I was late for the first day at my new job—a job I’d now have to compete for even though I’d already worked eight years to earn it, because of an unexpected merger.

While I lugged my belongings up to my new office, a meter maid wrote me a parking summons.

She’d ticketed a long line of cars—except for the Audi parked in front of me, which happened to be the same make and model as mine.

Annoyed, I decided to regift my ticket to the car that had evaded a fine.  Chances were, the owner would pay it and be none the wiser.

Except, I accidentally broke the windshield wiper while slipping the ticket onto the car’s window.

Seriously, my day couldn’t get any worse.

Things started to perk up when I ran into a gorgeous man in the elevator.  We had one of those brief moments that only happened in movies.

You know the deal…your body lights up, fireworks go off, and the air around you crackles with electricity.

His heated stare left me flush when I stepped off the elevator.

Maybe things here wouldn’t be so bad after all.

Or so I thought.

Until I walked into my new boss’s office and met my competition.

The gorgeous man from the elevator was now my nemesis. His heated stare wasn’t because of any mutual attraction.  It was because he’d saw me vandalize his car. And now he couldn’t wait to annihilate his rival.

There’s a fine line between love and hate—and we shouldn’t cross it.

 We shouldn’t—but straddling that line could be so much fun.

 
 
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Releases 1/22 – Undying (Unearthed #2) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

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Trapped aboard the Undying’s ancient spaceship and reeling from what they’ve learned there, scavenger Mia and academic Jules are plunged into a desperate race to warn their home planet of the danger humanity’s greed has unleashed. From the mountains of Spain to the streets of Prague, the sequel to Unearthed is a white-knuckle ride that will send readers hurtling back to earth, and leave them breathless until the last page.

 
 
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Releases 1/22 – Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry

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The Breakfast Club meets Guardians of the Galaxy in this YA sci-fi adventure by debut author M. K. England.

Hotshot pilot Nax Hall has a history of making poor life choices. So it’s not exactly a surprise when he’s kicked out of the elite Ellis Station Academy in less than twenty-four hours. But Nax’s one-way trip back to Earth is cut short when a terrorist group attacks the Academy.

Nax and three other washouts escape—barely—but they’re also the sole witnesses to the biggest crime in the history of space colonization. And the perfect scapegoats.

On the run, Nax and his fellow failures plan to pull off a dangerous heist to spread the truth. Because they may not be “Academy material,” and they may not even get along, but they’re the only ones left to step up and fight.

Full of high-stakes action, subversive humor, and underdogs becoming heroes, this YA sci-fi adventure is perfect for fans of Illuminae, Heart of Iron, or the cult classic TV show Firefly and is also a page-turning thrill ride that anyone—not just space nerds—can enjoy.

 
 
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Releases 1/22 – Playing for Keeps (Heartbreaker Bay #7) by Jill Shalvis

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If you’re planning on falling in love…

When it comes to the confident, charismatic Caleb Parker, Sadie Lane feels the spark—the kind that comes from rubbing each other the wrong way. She’s yoga pants, he’s a suit. She’s a tattoo artist, he’s a straight-laced mogul. But after they accidentally co-rescue an abandoned dog from a storm, Sadie sees a vulnerable side to the seemingly invincible hottie.

you’d better be sure…

Caleb doesn’t do emotions. Growing up the underdog, he’s learned the hard way to build up an impenetrable wall. Perfect for business. Disastrous for relationships. He’s never worried about it before—not until he finally gets behind Sadie’s armor and begins to fall.

… someone is there to catch you.

Both guarded and vulnerable, Sadie and Caleb are complete opposites. Or are they? Shocked at their undeniable connection, can they ever admit to wanting more? That all depends on what they’re each willing to risk.

 
 
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Releases 1/22 – The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious #2) by Maureen Johnson

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In New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson’s second novel in the Truly Devious series, there are more twists and turns than Stevie Bell can imagine. No answer is given freely, and someone will pay for the truth with their life.

The Truly Devious case—an unsolved kidnapping and triple murder that rocked Ellingham Academy in 1936—has consumed Stevie for years. It’s the very reason she came to the academy. But then her classmate was murdered, and her parents quickly pull her out of school. For her safety, they say. She must move past this obsession with crime.

Stevie’s willing to do anything to get back to Ellingham, be back with her friends, and solve the Truly Devious case. Even if it means making a deal with the despicable Senator Edward King. And when Stevie finally returns, she also returns to David: the guy she kissed, and the guy who lied about his identity—Edward King’s son.

But larger issues are at play. Where did the murderer hide? What’s the meaning of the riddle Albert Ellingham left behind? And what, exactly, is at stake in the Truly Devious affair? The Ellingham case isn’t just a piece of history—it’s a live wire into the present.

 
 
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Releases 1/29 – A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

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In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

 
 
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Releases 1/29 – Moonlight Scandals (de Vincent #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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It takes a fearless woman to love the most scandalous man alive in New York Times Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s breathtaking novel

Even a ghost hunter like Rosie Herpin couldn’t have foreseen the fateful meeting between two mourners that has brought her so intimately close to the notorious and seductive Devlin de Vincent. Everyone in New Orleans knows he’s heir to a dark family curse that both frightens and enthralls. To the locals, Devlin is the devil. To Rosie, he’s a man who’s stoking her wildest fantasies. When a brutal attack on her friend is linked to the de Vincents, he becomes a mystery she may be risking her life to solve. 

Devlin knows what he wants from this sexy and adventurous woman. But what does Rosie want from him? It’s a question that becomes more pressing—and more dangerous—when he suspects her of prying into the shadows of his past. 

Now, the legends surrounding the de Vincents may not be myths at all. But if she’s to discover the truth, she must follow them straight into the arms of the man she can’t resist—the handsome devil himself.

 
 
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Releases 1/29 – King of Scars (Nikolai Duology #1) by Leigh Bardugo

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Face your demons…or feed them.

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war―and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried―and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

Enter the Grishaverse with this new novel from #1 New York Times-bestselling author Leigh Bardugo.

 
 
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Releases 1/29 – 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

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Crush (n.): a strong and often short-lived infatuation, particularly for someone beyond your reach…

Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She’s travelled the world, and can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw him first and claimed him forever as his best friend. Despite Darcy’s best efforts, Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. That’s the problem with finding her dream man at age eight and peaking in her photography career at age twenty—ever since, she’s had to learn to settle for good enough.

When Darcy and Jamie inherit a tumble-down cottage from their grandmother, they’re left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell the property. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can cut and run, she finds a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom’s arrived, he’s bearing power tools, and he’s single for the first time in almost a decade.

Suddenly Darcy’s considering sticking around to make sure her twin doesn’t ruin the cottage’s inherent magic with his penchant for grey and chrome. She’s definitely not staying because of her new business partner’s tight t-shirts, or that perfect face that’s inspiring her to pick up her camera again. Soon sparks are flying—and it’s not the faulty wiring. It turns out one percent of Tom’s heart might not be enough for Darcy anymore. This time around, she’s switching things up. She’s going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers.

This next hilarious romance includes a special PS section with two Happily Ever Afters—one for this novel featuring Darcy and Tom and the other, an epilogue featuring fan favorites Lucy Hutton and Josh Templeman from The Hating Game!

 
 
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Releases 1/29 – Come Find Me by Megan Miranda

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From the New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls and The Perfect Stranger comes a captivating thriller about two teens who connect when each discovers a mysterious radio frequency, which suggests their family tragedies are mysteriously connected.

After surviving an infamous family tragedy, sixteen-year-old Kennedy Jones has made it her mission to keep her brother’s search through the cosmos alive. But then something disturbs the frequency on his radio telescope–a pattern registering where no signal should transmit.

In a neighboring county, seventeen-year-old Nolan Chandler is determined to find out what really happened to his brother, who disappeared the day after Nolan had an eerie premonition. There hasn’t been a single lead for two years, until Nolan picks up an odd signal–a pattern coming from his brother’s bedroom.

Drawn together by these strange signals–and their family tragedies–Kennedy and Nolan search for the origin of the mysterious frequency. But the more they uncover, the more they believe that everything’s connected–even their pasts–as it appears the signal is meant for them alone, sharing a message that only they can understand. Is something coming for them? Or is the frequency warning them about something that’s already here?

 
 
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So these are the books we can’t wait to be released this month! Are you excited about any of these releases too? Or is there a book we missed that we should definitely check out? Let us know. ♥

BOOK REVIEW: Everless (Everless #1) by Sara Holland

BOOK REVIEW: Everless (Everless #1)  by Sara HollandEverless (Everless #1)
by Sara Holland
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Synopsis:

In the land of Sempera, time is extracted from blood and used as payment. Jules Ember and her father were once servants at Everless, the wealthy Gerling family’s estate, but were cast out after of a fateful accident a decade ago. Now, Jules’s father is reaching his last hour, and she will do anything to save him. Desperate to earn time, she arrives at the palace as it prepares for a royal wedding, ready to begin her search into childhood secrets that she once believed to be no more than myths. As she uncovers lost truths, Jules spirals deeper into a past she hardly recognizes, and faces an ancient and dangerous foe who threatens her future and the future of time itself.

What. A. WONDERFUL surprise. I absolutely adored this masterpiece of a novel. When I try to think of what book I want to read next, a weekly occurrence, I immediately think back to this story time after time after time. I read this the first week it came out, yet I’ve been backlogged horribly on time with which to write a review it so rightfully deserves (I was sick, then husband, then daughter-then fast forward and daughter gets it again and BLAH just TOO MUCH)…so I waited. And I waited. And I waited. And do you know when I have finally found the time? While getting my hair done lol. 

Yep. I’m processing right now and I’m just tap tap tappin’ away on the keys. So. ANYWAY. I am so happy I can finally express my thoughts on this beauty-and the amazing characters this author brought into existence.

I think when trying to find a YA fantasy, there are few and far between that really reach into my soul and make me pine for more, wish that, even though terrible things are happening repeatedly, there was more we could read, that the story wouldn’t end. Those books are a dime a dozen…but this story was one of them.

With its lush visuals and deeply flawed, intricately layered characters, I was a goner from the moment I met every single one of them. Vivid storytelling led to endless possibilities, causing me to guess every theory in the book-until I realized I had no way to truly guess what was happening and I just needed to chill out and enjoy the ride.

A strange feeling flowers in me, like I’m standing at the edge of a cliff, looking out to the green-and-blue sea, which I’ve only ever seen drawn in books, its waves sloshing and beautiful and endless—and from this height, deadly.

Jules hates the Gerlings…chased from the castle when she was younger and still ‘in hiding’, she wants nothing to do with the royals that caused her and her father such pain and worry. She can stop time, but doesn’t know why. Blood is the price for security, its value only worth something so long as you’re not paying with your whole life. When backed into a corner with house payments, Jules finds that her father has been paying with his blood to keep them afloat-but she sees that he’s withering away with each pull, years dwindling away into oblivion.

She decides it’s time to take action, and when news gets out that Prince Roan has chosen a bride, help is required to prepare for the big day and it’s the talk of the town-those hired get a hefty amount of money, enough that it would get Jules and her father out of debt. Jules’s father begs her not to go, for that would mean facing the Gerlings once again and maybe being found out after all these years-But we all know what Jules decides to do, don’t we? The next morning she’s off before her father has risen, hoping to be chosen so she can pay off their debts and perhaps find the mystery as to why her father said to NEVER go near the Queen. What is he hiding? And why can’t she be near the Queen?

Lying feels like trying to hold an eel in my stomach: the truth wants to wriggle its way out.
I’m used to the feeling by now.

I’ll admit that I was all in for the romance. I mean, who would I be if not myself? I need a ship, and my ship was a lovely ship. My ship has/had promise. My boy was just…oh my gosh…ahhhh I need it. I just need it. And I need him. I love him. Adore him. I would do anything for him. But…unfortunately, I don’t think I should be saying any names. It’s a mystery until the end, I tell you, and it was a wonderful journey indeed.

Have I grown distracted, my head turned by Ina’s beautiful gowns, Caro’s friendly gossip, Roan’s smiles that seem just for me, and forgotten the promise I made by the lakeshore after View Spoiler »?

I’ll admit I guessed mostly who she might possibly be with or end up with or pine for or what have you (how many different ways can I say I think I know who she will end up with, in the end?), but I second guessed myself on EVERYTHING. And here I am, I find, trying to fangirl about a boy that I can’t say the name of and not able to tell anything that happens or why I like said person. I can’t really say her past or why she likes who she likes or who she stops liking or ends up liking or who she continues to like (holy hell this is confusing lol)….so I feel as though my normal review format is screwed and I’m just left a rambling mess. It sucks. I want to talk about my guy, dang it!!!!

And then all those characters. All these dark corners and twists and turns we go through. The stories and myths and childhood memories-it all builds up into this beautiful story, this seamless weaving of epicness, gripping you more and more with each passing page. I was sucked in until I was drowning, until I couldn’t breathe….and I STILL wasn’t prepared for the inevitably devastating (and STILL devastating) turn of events. I had my suspicions, but I tell ya, this author? She is the definition of epic. No holds barred, she goes all in. No tiptoeing around, she slits your throat and is in your face.

She wins. You lose. That’s all. This story is beyond your imagination. It’s new, imaginative-it seeps elegance out of every pore (eew). When I say this, I mean it-This book is the underbelly of the tainted royalty game. Who can you trust? Who SHOULD you trust? Is everything as it seems? And, almost always, the answer is no. Keep your head high and eyes forward, because you might just miss something. You might think you know where its going, but I can assure you, even if you’re partially right…you’re not even close. And if you are?? You’re a wizard, my friend, because this author is a wonderful, tricky mistress….and I adore her.

Liam doesn’t react for a moment. Then, to my shock, he grins, a wide, earnest smile breaking across his face like sun through storm clouds. It only lasts a moment, but smiling, he looks like Roan. No—he looks like someone all his own.

Sigh. I’ll shut up. But I just…I loved this book. I really loved it. And its been a month, so it’s so hard to write a nice review that’s worthy of such a strong book and a strong set of characters. It’s like…I don’t know. I am so frustrated because I’m reading all these amazing books that mean the world to me, but then I can’t put down my thoughts the next day like I used to…BEFORE. Lol. I love my daughter but UGHHH she puts a damper on mama’s reviewing skills. I like to think I can post a review about a book I’ve read now more than a month ago, but even I find it difficult these days. I’m reading so much faster than I can put out quality reviews and…it breaks my heart.

Oh well. I will continue to try and catch up on past reviews-even if they review is a shadow of what it could have been. I needed this on hardback after reading the ebook-so I got it (that and cruel prince). And if that’s not saying enough, I don’t know what will.

View all my reviews

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