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BOOK REVIEW: The Unmarked Witch by Miranda Lyn

BOOK REVIEW: The Unmarked Witch by Miranda LynThe Unmarked Witch by Miranda Lyn
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

ALL RAVEN WANTS IS PEACE. BUT IN A MAGICAL REALM PLAGUED BY DECEPTION, THE ONLY THING HER WORLD KNOWS IS TURMOIL.

A land where witches wear their spells like tattoos is no place for a woman without a single magical mark—except for Raven, whose unblemished skin contradicts the truth of her power. Surviving under the scowls of her fellow witches has carved indelible scars into her mind over the years—just as the day she watched the Dark King's men murder her grandmother in cold blood.

But the Dark King's reign of terror is far-reaching, and Raven's grandmother won't be the last witch to die under his rule. After the death of a coven leader heralds the start of the infamous Witch Trials, Raven finds herself dodging death to triumph. The journey quickly descends into perils far greater than she'd ever imagined, including a war on her heart from a man she’d only ever known as a villain.

Still, trust is always fragile in kingdoms ruled by magic, especially when love enters the fold. Yet, something else is awry in the land of spells and shadows and Raven must decide whether she trusts her gut or her heart.

The Unmarked Witch is the first gripping book in the seductive and intriguing duology,Unmarked.

From the author of the heart-pounding fantasy series, Fae Rising comes this new darkly ambitious tale.

Review

This book….was so much more than I could have ever anticipated. Because I have been reading fanfic nonstop since, oh, about last May, I have barely made time for new authors that I’m not familiar with unless someone I know has read it first and “pushed” it on me. Luckily that happened to me here!

One thing that I feel pretty well versed in when it comes to fantasy is magic. I have always loved books with any kind of magic and I have very strong opinions on what I think works and doesn’t work within a given fantasy world. I thought Lyn crafted SUCH a unique system in this where witches can receive spells throughout their life and afterwards they are inked on their skin. More powerful witches are obviously then more marked and they can call upon any number of marks at any time.

The only witch to NOT receive any markings despite having numerous spells in her arsenal is, you guessed it, our main character, Raven. I LOOOVED Raven. She was such a real character who always tried to stay true to herself and would do anything for the people she loved. I am so excited to learn more about her magic in book two and hopefully to find out why she is unmarked!

Honestly every single character in this book was excellently crafted. Easy to love and easy to hate which to me usually is a great indicator of a talented writer because who wants to read about characters that you don’t care about? Kirsi was an obvious favorite and I can’t wait to see more of her in book two *side eyes emoji* LOL. Bastian….I could go on and on but I will keep my lips zipped other than to say two words–THE CHEMISTRY!!!!!!!!!!!!! GAHH!!!!! And Grey. I am a sucker for Grey-like characters so I’m very intrigued where his storyline will go in book two as well.

This book made me feel a lot of things and the biggest feeling I have to express right at this second is that I NEED BOOK TWO LIKE YESTERDAY! I highly recommend to anyone who loves magic, witches, fantasy, a gripping romance, and a twisty plot.

BOOK REVIEW: A Little too Late (Madigan Mountain) by Sarina Bowen

BOOK REVIEW: A Little too Late (Madigan Mountain) by Sarina BowenA Little Too Late (Madigan Mountain)
by Sarina Bowen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

New from twenty-time USA Today bestseller Sarina Bowen!

How to behave when the guy who broke your heart two thousand miles away turns up in your office:

One: Don’t drop your lucky coffee cup in shock, even though it’s been ten years.

Two: Don’t get defensive when he asks how you ended up working his family’s ski mountain… and why you kept it a secret.

Three: Give him the worst room in the resort. He deserves it for suddenly waltzing back in like he owns the place. (Which he kind of does.)

Four, five, six, seven, eight and nine: Do not kiss him in the hot tub.

Ten: Try to keep your heart intact after you break all of your rules.

Because Reed is leaving again. Hate can't turn back into love. And it’s a little too late

Review

After being immersed in the World of True North for the past month it was fun to venture out into the mountains of Colorado with new characters. I am really excited to get more of the Madigan family after this, too, because like Reed, the two other brothers definitely have a lot to come to terms with in regards to their family dynamic.

This was honestly the perfect amount of angst for me. The topic of miscarriage and how that can cause the implosion of a relationship can make me nervous in a plot but the way that we were getting the present reconnection of Ava and Reed while also getting snippets into their past and what happened, was a balance that just worked for me. The way that both of them were still in such pain even after moving on with their lives the best that they could…sigh. I can’t even imagine the extent of Ava’s panic and depth of feelings when Reed walked into that office and she had no idea he was coming…I would have passed out I think, lol.

I loved every second of them being together in the present and how Reed kept realizing just how lonely and sad life was without Ava in it and had been since he left her. The scenes in which he apologized and explained to her what he was feeling and why he did what he thought he had to do were satisfying and just…all of it made me happy. There were some serious issues that multiple characters within this story dealt with throughout the course of this book and I really appreciated how all of it went down. Reed and his dad finally speaking about things, Reed learning more about his mom and her art, Ava and Reed talking about the past, Reed’s dad finding out about his and Ava’s past. My heart may have ached on several different occasions while reading this but overall I loved how everything was tied up within Reed and Ava’s story and I will definitely be coming back to read Yarros and Perry’s books, too.

P.s. I had an ALC of this and Andi Arndt and Sebastian York hit the narration out of the park, per usual!

Huge thanks to Tuxbury Publishing LLC for allowing me to listen to a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!

BOOK REVIEW: Dauntless (In Vino Veritas #6) by Victoria Denault

BOOK REVIEW: Dauntless (In Vino Veritas #6) by Victoria DenaultDauntless (In Vino Veritas #6)
by Victoria Denault
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

He’s everything I’ve ever wanted, at the worst possible moment.

One and done. That’s always been my motto when it comes to guys, because I’m not about to pull someone else into the closet my parents have locked me inside. I’ve been waiting years to claim my inheritance and live the life I want to live–out, free, and oh yeah, rich.

So why is the universe dropping the sexy farm boy with the lazy smile into my life right now? When Bowen Whitlock says he’ll join my band, and later my bed, I know one time won’t be enough.

But loving Bowen is dangerous for me. And he has his own struggles, like keeping his family afloat and trying not to get fired from his job at Vino and Veritas. But he lives his life with an authenticity that gives me a tantalizing taste of living my truth.

My secret relationship with Bowen is everything, until someone betrays us in the worst possible way…

Review

WHAT A WAY TO END A WONDERFUL SERIES! Oh my gosh this was such a great addition and Bowen and Chase completed this series in the best way. (Also yes I was cackling at the fact Bowen’s name is Bowen and that there was a reference to Him while Chase was visiting the bookstore side of Vino & Veritas LOL). I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advanced listener copy of this one which worked out great because I had a long drive yesterday and was able to finish almost all of it in one go! The narrators were PERFECTION. It’s crazy how that really can make or break my experience with a story sometimes but it’s true. Teddy Hamilton and John Lane you did great, sweeties.

Not like I even need to mention this in yet another review for this series but I WILL just to get the point across. The chemistry that Bowen and Chase had was off. the. freaking. charts. Bowen is the “sexy hemp farmer” that we first heard about back in Wildfire who was selling buns to Joss and Chase is first seen for tiny bit in Wonderland when he offers to help the Meadows family with the old amusement park. During one of Bowen’s many disastrous nights at V&V, Chase has his own disaster. The drummer for his cover band flakes and what do you know? Bowen knows how to play drums and knows several of the songs that the band had already planned on playing.

Apart from these two getting to know each other more through band practice and the occasional gig, we also see conflict in the form of Chase not truly being out with his sexuality because of his shitty family who are all knee deep in politics and because he doesn’t want to lose access to a trust fund he plans on using to better their community. Bowen’s brother is also trying to run for Mayor during the book and his main opponent is a family friend to Chase’s. So really, the two are dealing with a lot in this book, both together and separately. Without spoiling anything, I will say that Chase does have a moment towards the end where he makes a choice during a very pivotal scene and it is SO good, you guys. I love love love how the ending turned out so much. It was such a treat to be able to come back and spend more time with both new and old characters!


Huge thanks to Heart Eyes Press for allowing me to listen to an ALC of this book in exchange for my honest review!

BOOK REVIEW: Wonderland (In Vino Veritas #5) by Rachel Ember

BOOK REVIEW: Wonderland (In Vino Veritas #5) by Rachel EmberWonderland (In Vino Veritas #5)
by Rachel Ember
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

I left Vermont on the most painful day of my life and swore I’d never go back. Meadows Park–the shuttered amusement park that’s been in my family for generations–is the home of all my finest and worst memories. They all star Peter Landry–the best friend I ever had, and the only guy I’ve ever loved.

But then my eccentric grandfather buried two million dollars on the property and couldn’t remember where.

So I’m back, and asking Peter for help. He’s an Ivy League lawyer now. Still gorgeous, and able to gut me with a single smile. And I’m still a disappointment, living in the city and washing dishes to get by. As soon as we strike off down the first sunlit path, the Meadows Park magic begins to fill my heart with yearning, lust, and most dangerous of all—dreams.

I’m secretly relieved each time the day ends, leaving us empty-handed. I know it’s wrong—without that money, we could lose the park.

But if I find the treasure, I lose the guy.

Review

Wonderland truly deserves gold for having the most unique premise in this series! This story revolves around Peter (Aaron’s friend from law school that we meet in Counterpoint) and Riley Meadows. Riley’s grandpa who was his most stable and caring family member growing up was best friends with Peter’s uncle so the two spent many a summer together when they were younger on the land that Grandpa Meadows owned. It was home to an old amusement park that had been closed down for many years even at that point but it didn’t stop the two from exploring every inch and using the land as their personal playground. Naturally the two became best friends and from there, their relationship progressed into something more and they eventually experienced quite a few firsts together.

Fast forward about ten years and the two are thrown together again after not having any contact for YEARS. After a falling out/injury the two parted ways, never planning on seeing each other again. Because of how special their relationship had been in the past, it was no surprise to me when they immediately felt that old sizzle during their first meeting. Sure, part of it was anger and confusion on Peter’s part from not knowing what even happened to cause the rift in the first place but mostly it was purely their old attraction.

In a wild turn of events Riley finds out that his grandpa…..misplaced…something, LOL and the two band together like old times to help him find it. That honestly was my favorite part. Just those two, “forced” together trying to do this very important thing for Grandpa Meadows, back in a place that meant SO much to the both of them. I loved seeing them talk about what went wrong with that last argument they had in the past and how they still meant so much to each other, even after all these years. I am such a sucker to childhood-friends-turned-lovers, especially if a second chance romance is also thrown in the mix. SUCH a good story and I really really enjoyed every minute. AND LEMON!!!

Huge thanks to Heart Eyes Press for allowing me to listen to an ALC in exchange for my honest review!

BOOK REVIEW: Underdog (In Vino Veritas #4) by L.A. Witt

BOOK REVIEW: Underdog (In Vino Veritas #4) by L.A. WittUnderdog (In Vino Veritas #4)
by L.A. Witt
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Life in foster care wasn’t easy. Life after prison? Unforgiving. But I’m determined to stay out of trouble, and I’m gaining a foothold on the closest I’ve ever known to normal.

Then, thanks to a pair of escape artist dogs from the sanctuary where I’ve found work, I cross paths with my boss’s neighbor, Ty Adams. He’s a horse trainer, and winter is his quiet season. It’s also the season when he gets restless and lonely—two things I know all about. He’s not interested in love or romance. I’m just happy someone’s interested in me at all, even if emotions are strictly forbidden.

When we’re not together, I’m thinking about him. When we are together… Well, I’m definitely thinking about what he does to me and what I want to do with him.

As we keep each other warm through the Vermont winter, this feels a lot more than physical. Somehow he soothes my pain, and I wonder if I’m touching something deep inside him too. But Ty won’t let himself love anyone. I never had a chance. And now, with my past closing in, I could lose the one man I hoped I could count on. The one I thought might be different.

When his present and my history collide, is it too much to hope he’ll choose me?

CW: Sick horse and a minor accident involving a horse—no animal deaths or serious injuries/illnesses.

Review

Ahhhhh I feel terrible that it took me so long to review this but I felt like death last week/ this weekend and just…couldn’t.

Anyway, I was so excited to get Ty and Landon’s story after we got a few little tidbits here and there from Luke meeting and texting with Landon during Unmanageable. Gosh I am just such a sucker for these series that interconnect even if you don’t HAVE to read all of the books in order. I was immediately drawn in by the animals in this book. Blain and Houdini really stole the show for me hehe those little trouble making escape artists. Also!!! The horses! As a Millennial I’m pretty sure I can speak for most of my generation when I say that it was impossible to grow up and not be a horse girl for at least a small chunk of time. I read all of the horse books I could get my hands on and wanted one for myself until I was able to ride one at a local county fair and it actually scared the hell out of me, LOLLL but I digress. The animals were a special part of this book and I really, really enjoyed that element.

On to the characters and relationship. ONCE AGAIN, the immediate chemistry that Ty and Landon had was off the charts. I’m not sure how this has happened so consistently in every book this series has given us so far but I am a huge fan. Ty lived and breathed horse training and boarding and competitions. That was his family’s whole world and he continued on the legacy after his parents decided to retire. Because that was such a demanding and time consuming lifestyle, he has always tried to keep relationships low key and simple. Landon on the other hand has recently gotten out of almost a decades worth of time in jail/prison. He didn’t have an easy or stable childhood which led to him getting into a lot of bad situations that he just couldn’t seem to get himself out of. That has all changed though. This time around he is determined to live life the “right” way and stay as far away from trouble as he possibly can. Through a work rehabilitation program, he was hired by Brent and Jon (MCs of Aftermath in the Vino and Veritas series) to work for Second Chances Animal Sanctuary and eventually started working for Ty at Lost Acres Farm after Ty learned he had experience with horses and was good with animals.

As you might expect this book deals a lot with the aftermath of Landon being a released prisoner and how other people perceive him because of that. Oof my heart. The BEST part of this how this specific theme played out in this book was how, for the most part anyway, Ty trusted Landon with his whole gut and gave him so many more opportunities than most people would. That’s all it takes sometimes. People who have spent time imprisoned can’t hope to reintegrate with society if they don’t have people at their back, encouraging them and actually helping them live a normal life again. This book definitely brought up a lot of things I never would have thought about before and I know I will be keeping them in mind for the future….On the opposite end of that there are also parts of this book that feature many people mistrusting Landon and even trying their best to get him to screw up because they assume that’s all he’s capable of. That hurt to read. L.A. Witt is definitely a pro at tugging on heartstrings in a very real way, let me tell you.

Seriously this is one you aren’t going to want to miss!

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

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