Author: Arielle (page 1 of 7)

BOOK REVIEW: Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) by Kendare Blake

BOOK REVIEW: Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) by Kendare BlakeThree Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1)
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When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.


**DISCLAIMER** Do NOT read the novellas until you finish with this fist book. It will ruin a pretty major thing that you find out at the end of this book. I’m pissed I read it first, haha, but that’s on me.

Three dark queens
Are born in a glen,
Sweet little triplets
Will never be friends

Three dark sisters
All fair to be seen,
Two to devour
And one to be Queen

Ummmmm…..why had I been fooled into thinking that this series was only going to be “okay”?!?!? I always seem to get bitten on the ass when I go too deep into reviews on GR for a book or series that I discover that sounds good but doesn’t IMMEDIATELY catch my attention. So, ever so stupidly, I read reviews written by people that I ~usually~ share similar opinions with….that is, until they differ.

I remember seeing this book when it came out and thinking it sounded interesting but at that point I had been caught up in a Sarah J Maas/ Court of Mist and Fury haze. Unless I KNEW that I was going to love it, or it was by an author I already loved, I don’t think I was venturing out too much and reading new things. Then, of course, when that died down, I went to the reviews. So many people had so many problems with this book and said at the first quarter at least was super slow and boring??????????????????????????????? How???????????????????????

If you can’t tell I very much disagree.

The first quarter of this book isn’t action packed, no, but that’s because we have to learn about the three sisters that are eventually going to be fighting to the death to become queen.

Mirabella, an elementalist, who has been considered the Chosen Queen since she was born because of her great powers

Arsinoe, a naturalist, who has yet to develop any sort of power or find a familiar BUT has been dabbling is some shifty “low magic”

Katherine, a poisoner, who also hasn’t shown much affinity for her gift and who has grown up weak, frail, and scarred due to the poisonings that have been administered to her since she was a child to hopefully build up her immunity

Like, you can’t just go into a series about three Queen sisters who eventually have to fight to the death if you don’t know about each one. I’ll admit my favorite right off the bat was Arsinoe. Mirabella is at first painted to be cold and aloof and while Katherine was sweet, I wasn’t a fan of her guardians the Arron’s at all. The world building is incredible and I am so freakin intrigued by Fennbirn and how it’s surrounded by mist—so basically off in its own little world and only lets people in that the island chooses to let in and doesn’t let people leave if it doesn’t want them to. Like….genius. I hope we get to find out more about the “continent” in later books because I really am just so interested in what it’s like, who all lives there, how it’s ruled, etc.

Aside from our three main characters there is a slew of other important and interesting characters. Jules and Camden! Joseph! BILLY ♥! (and others of course but those are by far my favorites. Each play a very important role to the Queens and that’s all I’ll say on the matter.

If you’re looking for love interests, you’re in luck. Every Queen has one, and there’s even sort of love triangle, but not one that you’d expect. It surprised me but I guess I wasn’t super mad about it? I don’t know, you’ll see what I mean.

Plot wise, after the introductions of all the Queens and their foster families and once the book inches closer to Beltane and their sixteenth birthday, things obviously pick up. It was really interesting that Mira seemed to have kept her memories of her sisters which isn’t supposed to happen. It created tension because the name of the game is to kill two sisters and become Queen. Even though Mira is the most powerful, she doesn’t want to kill her sisters. That ends up playing a pretty big role in events.

Things also get pretty dark, too. I mean there are poisonings, there are dismemberments, there is horrific scarring. Like Blake does not shy away from being descriptive with any of these things, either. I thought it really worked well overall. I have never been a fan of books that go too far down the path to the dark side but I thought that what she did with this book was the perfect amount and that it really added to the whole concept of an island being fueled by the blood and death of two if its three Queens.

I have so many questions about so many parts of how Fennbirn works and about certain characters and I cannot wait to keep reading and find out. HIGHLY recommend this series.

BOOK REVIEW: The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi

BOOK REVIEW: The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani ChokshiThe Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
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Set in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous but thrilling adventure.

Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can't yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.

Together, they'll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.


Well I feel like I need to keep this short and to the point until it actually comes out (January 15th)! This was a good book. That being said, did I expect more? Kind of.

There were so many wants inside him that he doubted there was room for blood in his body.

At this point I honestly don’t know if I didn’t LOVE it because I started reading it a few months ago, put it down and read a ton of really great books in-between, and then just now finally finished it. I do think that this also might suffer from a case of “people said it was super similar to Six of Crows so my bar was set SUPER HIGH” or what. And I get that, it had a cast of misfit and super diverse characters that came together to pull of a heist which was awesome. BUT. I guess there was also a lot I didn’t get. Maybe it was because unlike Six of Crows which is set in a completely fictional world, this was set in France is 1889 and I kept forgetting that. There are instances of people being treated a certain way because of their race and talks of revolution and things of that nature that had me pausing for a second because I honestly have no idea what kind of a place France was during that time period. I do always feel bad too, when books are compared to a series that was hyped up so much and so loved by so many. I’m always nervous like, okay, is this book set up to fail because too many people are going to go into it expecting something exactly like the other series??!?! I really hope not!

“Tristan, my love,” said Laila with dangerous calm. “If you get it the way of a woman’s battle, you’ll get in the way of her sword.”

EITHER WAY, this book has solid bones. The characters, like I said, were really diverse and fun and had hilarious banter with one another. A lot of things really intrigued me about them (like their different powers and mysterious pasts) and I hope that we continue to get more back story on all of them, ESPECIALLY Laila..Also, the ending set the next book up in a way that I NEED IT YESTERDAY. I need more Severin and Laila (they are the definition of tortured romance, folks), I need to know more about last thing that was said about a certain someone being an heir……I just need to know a lot of things. So again, this wasn’t life-changing great like I thought it was going to be, but it was still really good and I will be 100% checking out book two. Chokshi’s writing is as amazingly rich and vibrant as it was in her previous books and I still think this will get a lot of buzz and that a ton of people will fall madly in love with the characters, too.

“When you are who they expect you to be, they never look too closely. If you’re furious, let it be fuel,” Severin said, looking each of them in the eye. “Just don’t forget that enough power and influence makes anyone impossible to look away from. And then they can’t help but see you.”

Huge thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to honestly review this eArc! ♥

BOOK REVIEW: Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners #3) by Libba Bray

BOOK REVIEW: Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners #3) by Libba BrayBefore the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners #3)
by Libba Bray
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


New York City.
Lights are bright.
Jazz is king.
Parties are wild.
And the dead are coming...

After battling a supernatural sleeping sickness that early claimed two of their own, the Diviners have had enough of lies. They're more determined than ever to uncover the mystery behind their extraordinary powers, even as they face off against an all-new terror. Out on Ward's Island, far from the city's bustle, sits a mental hospital haunted by the lost souls of people long forgotten--ghosts who have unusual and dangerous ties to the man in the stovepipe hat, also known as the King of Crows.

With terrible accounts of murder and possession flooding in from all over, and New York City on the verge of panic, the Diviners must band together and brave the sinister ghosts invading the asylum, a fight that will bring them fact-to-face with the King of Crows. But as the explosive secrets of the past come to light, loyalties and friendships will be tested, love will hang in the balance, and the Diviners will question all that they've ever known. All the while, malevolent forces gather from every corner in a battle for the very soul of a nation--a fight that could claim the Diviners themselves.


In this history, someone wins and someone loses. There are patriots and enemies. Folk heroes who save the day. Vanquished foes who had it coming. It’s all in the telling. The conquered have no voice.

I…..I am left without knowing quite what to say. I stayed up until around 1 a.m. last night to finish this because I couldn’t bear to stop. The story would not let me stop. I know that isn’t really even that late compared to how late I’ve stayed up in the past for a book but I can guarantee you it’s the latest I’ve stayed up reading since having my daughter. This series has had be on an emotional roller coaster the past few weeks. I have not read Bray’s writing in years so I had forgotten how consuming it can be. I’ve been terrified, I’ve been hurt, I’ve been worried, I’ve been in love. Even as I sit typing this, when I think about everything that happened in the last half of the book, my heart starts beating faster. Honestly, this has been the most visceral reading experience I’ve had in a LONG time.

“Aw, Sheba. I didn’t mean anything by that. Look, I know I’m no egghead and I’m no saint. I can’t heal like Memphis or play the piano like Henry. And I sure don’t look like Freddy the Giant,” he said, exposing his own soft wound. “But I got my own kind of smarts, from the streets, and when I go after something, well, just try’n shake me off. I’m an odd fella, but I know I’m an odd fella. What I can’t figure out is why you gotta make yourself crackers trying to be somebody you can’t ever be instead of just letting yourself be the one and only Evie O’Neill.”

I want to do my best to give away as little as possible. I’m always one for reading ahead or looking at spoilers and other than looking to see what happened at the end of Lair of Dreams I was good. I had NO idea what to expect for this one other than having certain gut feelings throughout the book. I want to warn you all, this book—this entire series—is dark. There are horrible ghosts, there is death, there is racism and bigotry. While I abso-posi-tutely loved reading about this era, it was so hard reading about the racism. Like seriously when everything goes to shit at the end with the King of Crows and certain deaths, etc., all I could think about was “yeah sure, they’ll probably defeat him in the next book but Memphis and Theta will still never be able to live peacefully in love. Henry will never be able to get married. Ling will always be judged for both the color of her skin and because of her braces.” GAHHH I hate that that’s the way things used to be…that that’s the way it still sometimes is now. It’s unfair and it sucks and I will never understand why people can’t just let other people be happy. It’s a load of B.S. if you ask me.

“I suppose it’s all in how you define patriotism. Some say that’s only saying good things about your country. Others say that it’s speaking against what you feel is wrong with your country and trying to make a change.” 

BUT, I don’t want to make it seem like everything is just a huge suckfest. No. This book has love and joy and hope as well. Just because Theta and Memphis’s relationship is looked down upon, doesn’t mean it affects their love for one another in any way. Nothing stops Henry or Ling from being exactly who they are as well. And as for Evie and the kinda-love triangle….oh baby. My lips are sealed muahahaha. 

Seriously though, the second half of this book was my favorite. It’s all like BAM BAM BAM in your face. Here’s a tad of information you might want, but then boom, here’s a little more mystery to add to your ??? files. You learn so much about Project Buffalo that is so messed up but still I have more questions about James and Sam’s mom and the weird blue serum that Marlowe gives to Jericho. It’s just so crazy think about how “simple” things were in the first book –lolol yeah right, but you’ll see what I mean if you read these. Then they were just dealing with one murderous ghost, not an endless supply. One thing that held the test of time, though, is the friendships. In fact, the motley group of characters have become a family, they become the reader’s family. I care so much for each of them that I will be so sad to see them go after the next book…fingers crossed they all live.

He was beautiful to her. She reached her hand toward him, and if she lived for a hundred years more, she would never forget his expression, as if he had been lost in a dark wood for a very long time and she had just opened the door to him, light spilling out to let him know he was home at last.

I am so deeply in need of the fourth book it’s not even funny. After everything that happened in the last half of the book I am left empty and with little hope. There is going to be a great reckoning and I am so nervous to see how everything comes to an end.


In our shrouds, we look up and watch you. . . You, who ask, “Am I enough?” You, who pray to leave a mark. You, so full of life. You, capable of such moments of transcendent beauty that it shifts the atoms of history into an ecstatic sigh. You, who erect the monuments so that you’ll remember, for a time. You, who will also wither and die. We marvel at your endless capacity to dream and create and, yes, even to love. To keep inventing yourselves. To ignore history’s lessons. To rewrite the story again and again. We wish you love. And dreams. And hope.

BOOK REVIEW: Lair of Dreams (The Diviners #2) by Libba Bray

BOOK REVIEW: Lair of Dreams (The Diviners #2) by Libba BrayLair of Dreams (The Diviners #2)
by Libba Bray
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


The longing of dreams draws the dead, and this city holds many dreams.

After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. With her uncanny ability to read people’s secrets, she’s become a media darling, earning the title “America’s Sweetheart Seer.” Everyone’s in love with the city’s newest It Girl…everyone except the other Diviners.

Piano-playing Henry DuBois and Chinatown resident Ling Chan are two Diviners struggling to keep their powers a secret—for they can walk in dreams. And while Evie is living the high life, victims of a mysterious sleeping sickness are turning up across New York City.

As Henry searches for a lost love and Ling strives to succeed in a world that shuns her, a malevolent force infects their dreams. And at the edges of it all lurks a man in a stovepipe hat who has plans that extend farther than anyone can guess…As the sickness spreads, can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld to save the city?

In this heart-stopping sequel to The Diviners, Printz Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray takes readers deeper into the mystical underbelly of New York City.


The land has a memory. 

Every stream and river runs with a confession of sorts, history whispered over rocks, lifted in the beaks of birds at a stream, carried out to the sea. Buffalo thunder across plains whose soil was watered with the blood of battles long since relegated to musty books on forgotten shelves. Fields once strewn with blue and gray now flower with uneasy buds. The slave master snaps the lash, and generations later, the ancestral scars remain.

Under it all, the dead lie, remembering.

At this point I honestly don’t know whether I should race to finish book three to see how things progress or take my time and savor it as much as I can. You see, there is no publication date yet for book four and the trend ~seems~ to be that she is taking two years to write each book. I mean…if that’s the case, COOL. Before the Devil Breaks You came out last year so that means the fourth could possible come out next year….right??!?!? Either way, you better be sure I will be stalking the GR page, Libba’s website, and every other media outlet available until I catch of wiff of a due date. That is reason #1230942830598 how you know you’ve found a good series.

“Did she just say they’d drag the river for your body?” T. S. Woodhouse asked, his pencil poised above his open notebook. 
Sam sighed like a man deeply in love. “She did, the little bearcat. It’s the only defense that poor, helpless girl’s got against the animal pull of our love. Uh, you can quote me on that.”

This book was a great sequel to its predecessor, though I will admit that it scared me a lot less (and that is NOT a bad thing). It picks up shortly after the first left off and it seems that Evie exposing herself as a Diviner has made her quite famous. She landed herself a radio talk show where she reads people’s items and basically tells them the positive things they want to hear. With her sass and genial personality, she has become New York’s Sweetheart Seer and has won the hearts of many. One heart that she did not immediately win over, though, was mine. I can’t lie, there were parts of this book where I became frustrated and annoyed with Evie because she was drinking and partying a LOT and it seemed to me like she was brushing off anything serious and ditching her friends. For some reason, it just didn’t click with me that she might be getting/staying drunk and making light of everything because that was the only way she knew how to cope with EVERYTHING that happened at the end of the last book. She and Sam had a conversation about it towards the end of this book and I kind of sat there for a second, thinking, damnit Arielle, of course Evie wasn’t doing all of that on purpose!!! I mean let’s face it, I can’t even think about that last scene with Naughty John without scaring myself and it’s all just a story…it makes perfect sense that Evie would be seriously changed and scarred by the event. I just needed that all to be said in case anyone initially has the same thoughts as me!

Sam had a skill that often let him take what he needed. But you couldn’t do that with love. It had to be given. Shared. Through the window, Evie saw him. She made a funny face—a silly gesture—and Sam felt it deep inside.

Anywayyyyys this story, while still featuring all of our favorites from the first book, centers more about Henry and a new character, Ling, who can always dream-walk. After a chance encounter in a dream one night, Henry finds Ling in real life and convinces her to help him find Louis’s dream so he could suggest him in his dreams to come to New York to be with Henry. 

Before I go on, I just need to say that I loved Ling’s character in this book! After being annoyed with Evie’s occasional surface level-ness, Ling was so blunt and straightforward about everything. She seemed like just the right person to add to the group. Another thing that I loved about her/ these books that I never mentioned in my first review is the diversity we see. Henry is gay, Memphis and Theta are an interracial couple, and Ling is disabled (has to wear braces/ use crutches because of a sickness that basically destroyed her leg muscles) and bi-racial (we also see how immigrants were poorly treated, too). Obviously each of those things can still be hard for people to deal with today but it was VERY interesting to see how they coped with being “different” in the 20s. My heart hurt for all of them for different reasons on multiple occasions but it was refreshing to have these characters and see how they just went on and lived their lives anyway. AND it’s a sad reminder that people have had to deal with people’s ignorance and intolerable BS basically forever.

But I digress. Back to the plot. The main new obstacle in this book is something called the Sleeping Sickness. People are being preyed upon in their dreams and if they “agree” to keep dreaming, they are stuck in a deep sleep, unable to wake up until they are basically burned up from the inside. Yeah, pretty messed up, right? Well even more messed up is that the area that is being the most affected is China Town and people are becoming extremely restless. It’s up to our favorite Diviners to save the day! Ugh, this book has a lot of sadness to it in my opinion. You find out more about Henry’s back story, you find out about a third dream-walker’s story, and you feel bad for Isaiah because Uncle Bill is THE WORST, UGH, Mabel feels like she isn’t special and keeps being ditched by Evie, the list continues on…

I also may have said book one scared me more, but don’t take that to mean this one isn’t scary. The thought of going down into a dark subway tunnel with weird animalistic ghost creatures chasing you IS REALLY SCARY, TOO. No thanks. I hope I come out of this series as a braver person, I really do lol.

But the gin had loosened the last of Evie’s restraint. “I’ve seen you. The true you. I’ve held your secrets in my hands. You’re scared, Sam. You pretend you’re not, but you are. Just like the rest of us.”

By this point in my review I finally noticed that three out of my five quotes are from Sam or Sam/Evie. Oops. No regrets. Their fake engagement was basically my favorite part of this book. I want to tell people that there is kind of a love triangle only…it’s not a typical one like with Bella/Edward/Jacob or Tessa/Will/Jem. Jericho likes Evie. Sam likes Evie. Evie has kissed both and kind of likes them both but isn’t particularly *with* either one of them (other than the fake engagement, of course, lol). In my heart, I think it will be Sam, and want it to be Sam. You just don’t get an opening meeting like they did and have nothing happen. No. Way. Plus uhhhh they had some pos-i-tute-ly dreamy tension a few times. Looooooved it. Also, I loved that he trusted her enough to tell her about Project Buffalo and wanting her to help him find his mom. 


For dreams, too, are ghosts, desires chased in sleep, gone by morning. The longing of dreams draws the dead, and this city holds many dreams.

Soooo yeah, on the level, I’m probably just going to binge book three because let’s face it, how could I ever try to pace myself with these characters characters and a story like this?!

BOOK REVIEW: Arrogant Devil by R. S. Grey

BOOK REVIEW: Arrogant Devil by R. S. GreyArrogant Devil Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


A full-length STANDALONE romantic comedy from USA TODAY bestselling author R.S. Grey.

Everyone in Cedar Creek, Texas, knows Jack McNight is an arrogant devil. Physically, I get it: he’s tan and fit, with coal-black hair that’s clearly been scorched by hellfire. Oh, and his personality? It burns just as hot.

When I show up on the doorstep of Blue Stone Ranch, I’m run-down and rockin’ my last pair of underwear. I’m hoping for a savior, but instead, I find him.

My opinion of Jack is marred by a dismal first impression, but his opinion of me is tainted even before I arrive. He’s heard I’m a spoiled princess there to take advantage of his goodwill. To him, I’m more trouble than I’m worth.

Our button-pushing banter should get under my skin. His arrogance should be a major turn-off. Problem is, devils are known to offer their own form of temptation.

Every one of his steely glares sends a shiver down my spine.

Every steamy encounter leaves me reeling.

Sure, it could be the Texas heat messing with my head, but there’s no way I’ll survive the summer without silencing him with a kiss and wrestling him out of those Wranglers.

Who knows…going to bed with the devil might just be the salvation I’ve been looking for all along.


Be glad I’m with you.
Be glad I’m with you.

He was holding my head under water, and I didn’t drown, didn’t break. I grew gills.

As Kevin says to Dwight when they show up at his bar during Dwight’s bachelor party during the finale, “Well, well, well, well, well, well.” (I’m pretty sure after reading like three Office references that Grey must also be a rabid fan like myself) I found another winner, guys!!!! I don’t know about everyone else but I LOVE when I find a romance author who has consistently great/ HILARIOUS writing, especially when they already have quite a few books out. I had read a few of her books previously, one being a hit and one a miss, and I just didn’t feel like venturing forth into more for a while. THAT IS until I signed up for a free month’s trial to Kindle Unlimited and basically all of her books are free muahahah.

“Oh I’m sorry, Alfred! I just realized I didn’t give you any. How rude of me to bring it up.”
He forgives me because he’s a dog and he doesn’t speak English. Also, I think he’s my best friend.

Anywayyyys this particular book is about Meredith and Jack. Meredith is a woman who came from a well off family and married a well off man straight out of college. She really hasn’t had to ever work for anything in her entire life until the day/night she decides to finally leave her emotionally abusive/manipulative sleezeball of a husband and run to Texas where her half-sister lives. When she finds that her sister is in fact halfway across the world on a vacation because her house is being renovated, she is forced to take a job at Jack’s ranch. Jack is a hot, prickly cowboy who would really rather not have Meredith around. He’s heard from Meredith’s sister about how she’s never had to work a day in her life and has probably just left her husband to get attention of some kind. Obviously that all changes once the two actually get to know each other/ each other’s stories.

Alfred follows after me, acting as my accomplice, and together, we hightail it back to the shack. Once we’re inside, I slam the door closed and press my back against it. Mission: Possible, apparently. 
I glace down at my bounty. I managed to nab a bottle of Jack Daniels. Fitting. I pour myself a bit and barf a little in my mouth when I take my first sip.
“It’s so bad,” I tell Alfred, trying to keep the rest of it down.
He looks at me with sad, questioning eyes as if to say, Hmm, and I thought you weren’t a little bitch.

There were so many things to love about this book:
-Meredith’s tenacity to prove to Jack that she can work her butt off and that she isn’t just some rich, flighty girl who left her husband because she was somehow bored or unhappy
-Alfred the golden retriever who sounds exactly like my dopey golden named Oakley
-Jack’s grandma, Edith, who is a hilarious angel sent from above
-Jack and his prickliness and how he obviously is a big softy on the inside and once he hears Meredith’s story he immediately believes her like no one else ever has
-Sexy scenes that will make you blush
-Meredith getting to tell off her horrible husband and being extremely brave about it and realizing her self-worth
-More Alfred
-More Edith
-Super adorable epilogue

I have one thought before I reach her: if there have to be consequences, make them all worth it.


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