Author: Chelsea (Peril Please) (page 2 of 91)

BOOK REVIEW: Immortal Reign (Falling Kingdoms #6) by Morgan Rhodes

BOOK REVIEW: Immortal Reign (Falling Kingdoms #6) by Morgan RhodesImmortal Reign (Falling Kingdoms #6)
by Morgan Rhodes
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


As two lethal elemental gods set out to destroy Mytica, sworn enemies must become allies in the final fight to save the kingdoms.

Jonas continues to willfully defy his destiny, but the consequences of plotting his own course are drastic. As the fight for Mytica rages on, he must decide just how much more he's willing to sacrifice.

Lucia knows there's something special about her daughter and she'll do anything to protect her, even if that means facing Kyan alone.

Amara is called back home to Kraeshia. Grandma Cortas has her own plans for Mytica's future. She promises Amara power, revenge, and dominance if she agrees to be part of her scheme.

Magnus and Cleo's love will be put to the ultimate test. Dark magic is causing widespread destruction throughout the kingdom. Enemies across the sea are advancing. And unrest is stirring throughout the land. Is their love strong enough to withstand the outside forces tearing them apart?


ARC provided by Penguin Teen (Yes, I read this forever ago….it took me forever to get my review on here, SORRY!)

“So the rumors about you are true,” he said solemnly.
She swallowed past the lump that had suddenly formed in her throat. “Most of them, I’m afraid.”
“Good.” He continued to hold her gaze when she wished she could look away. “Then be a demon, my beautiful daughter. Be whatever you need to be to put an end to the Kindred once and for all.”

It goes without saying that I’m a rabid fangirl when it comes to the Falling Kingdoms series. It started out with a ‘meh, I don’t know if I should continue after this first book’, and now it has [not so] slowly eased its way onto my favorite series of all time list. I’m not kidding when I say that I haven’t added a book to that sucker since 2014 or so. Maybe longer! So, you KNOW it’s a big deal when I choose to add onto it.

“Why did you choose Nic?” Magnus asked, hoping to distract Kyan somehow. “Wasn’t there anyone better?”
Kyan laughed. “Nicolo has a soul of fire.”
“Because of his hair? More the color of carrots thrown into a horse’s trough than fire, if you ask me.”

I’ll admit that it wasn’t a love at first sight type deal, either-besides Magnus (Yeah. More on that morsel later), I just didn’t wholly identify with anyone and not enough happened to satiate my thirst for peril and all things action and violence. If you didn’t know, I can be quite the violent sort when it comes to my books. Ahem…moving on. But, that’s all beside the point, because what have I continually said since I started heavily reviewing on GR?

Gaius’s eyebrows drew together. He looked pained. “Magnus loved you. He fought for you. He defied me again and again in order to save you, even if it meant his own destruction. He was worthy of you in a way that I was never worthy of Elena. I see that now. And for that alone, you must survive this, Cleiona Bellos.” Then he scowled at her. “But know this. I would personally kill you in an instant if it meant that my son could live again.”

All. I. Need. Is. SOMETHING. To keep me hooked in a book or series. Whether it be something as simple as a tortured look from the male lead, a beautifully written story that keeps my interest if only because it has descriptions that continually draw me in, or so much heart-breaking action that I couldn’t dare to put it down for a moment. It needn’t be huge, but it must be something. In this case? It was all about that dark, hate-to-love, practically forbidden, enemies to lovers romance, baby.

Of a beautiful golden princess who rightfully despised him. Whose blue-green eyes held only hate for so long that he didn’t remember precisely when her gaze had softened.
This princess who didn’t push him away when he kissed her. Instead, she kissed him back with a passion that very nearly matched his own.
Perhaps I’m only fantasizing all of it, he thought.

Sign. Me. UP. I loved my darling Magnus from page one of book one, mmkayyyy? But, unfortunately, there were dual POVs (not a huge fan of this) and I can’t commit to a story that is dull without something to give me hope. And, also unfortunately, it didn’t look like there was going to be any HOPE for my boy…There was just a wee lil smidge of incestual thoughts goin’ on there-and I didn’t see how this was something I could endorse, no matter how much I adored my main man.

He’d also heard of burying a victim in the ground up to their neck, then covering them with tree syrup and allowing a nest of hungry beetles to consume them slowly.
That would be nice.
Or perhaps Magnus would remove Kurtis’s remaining hand. Saw it off slowly with a dull knife. Or a spoon.
Yes, a spoon.

But then…THEN. This beautiful unicorn of a girl (You know who you are, Bones (LOLZ)) said-’Oh no. No no no. You mustn’t give up. There is a glorious ship. And BOY does it sail. And its not at all like it is now.’ So, I persevered-I picked up book two. And, while it certainly wasn’t perfect…far from it…my eyes lit up and my grin went from ear to ear-because there shone a glimmer of hope, right before my moonstruck, rabid fangirly eyes. It wasn’t going to be half bad if this ship sailed.

He needed food. Drink.
But first and most importantly, he needed to know that Cleo was safe.

Then something else happened…and another…then another! The action became breathtaking because I actually cared for more than just one person. The romances began to fly (and die. Then fly again….rinse and repeat). The stories became very interesting. Everything began weaving together so intricately on each page that I couldn’t stop to take a breath. I had a whole new series to devour with endless possibilities…and I had almost put it down forever. Thank God for the power of friendship (and trust bones from Brittney).

And now, here I am, receiving (and having received) the last two books (FINISHED HARDBACKS!) from the lovely publishers for reviewing, and each time it has made my year. This was just the most wonderful start to 2018 (along with my other favorites so far: Everless, The Cruel Prince, Love, Life and the List…). When I received this book I jumped around, I screamed, I cried…I [attempted] to devour it immediately. I literally bought a book light, people. A BOOK LIGHT-so I could get this sucker done. And I truly wasn’t disappointed. Not by a long shot.

Paelsians burned their dead.
Auranians worshipped the goddess of fire and air, so one would think they would fsuavor the Paelsian burial ritual. But rich Auranians favored coffins chiseled from marble, while those of lower status chose wooden boxes.
“Kurtis had me buried like an Auranian peasant,” Magnus muttered.
Surely, this had to be the former kingsliege’s final insult.

More than once I couldn’t breathe. More than once I had to put the book down, take a breath, release it, and just try to breathe because my heart was furiously pounding out of my chest, my stomach was in knots…and I just couldn’t even stand it. I might be a bit of a loser when it comes to this series, but I have no regrets-NONE. Frankly, it’s all because of one couple. Let’s be real. And let’s just get down to it:

“I think I scared him.”
She nodded. “You can be very scary.”
“Yes. And I can also be scared. And I am, right now.” Magnus took her hands in his, his gaze locking with hers. “I want to help you.”
Tears welled in her eyes. “I know.”
“What do we do, Cleo?” He hated the weakness that had crept into his voice. “How am I supposed to save you from this?”

Magnus. Magnus and Cleo. I can’t. I truly can’t even. And I suppose I shouldn’t be able to say anything after that ambiguous end to the previous book (OMG I LOVED IT OMG SO EPIC-but perhaps I’m alone in this because, as I’ve stated many a time, I am a masochistic book nerd), but….Morgan Rhodes has released quotes about what we know can’t be the end….so I guess I’m clear??

“Ashur,” Magnus said with an impatient sigh. I’m going to the palace now. Are you going to join me, or do you wish to call out names while sacrificing random forest creatures?”
“You don’t believe,” Ashur said.
“What I believe is irrelevant. What I need is to get to Cleo.”

But I’ll be good. So…yeah…ummm….THE REUNION. IS. EVERYTHING. HA! I LIED. Hypothetically, it might have been in a certain jelly situation. Hypothetically it may have taken FOREVER for the two to be in the same damn space and connect and….hypotheticallyit might have made my heart stop for a moment (No. For real. Ask my friend, Jen-I literally text her and was like yeah…I need to put this down because the feels have taken over my ability to BREATHE). Ha. But I may be alone here-I think that’s just the possessed fangirl talking again. WHAT. It’s been a YEAR. I’ve waited a YEAR. I can be as happy as I please, thank you very much.

He knew she was angry with him for scaring Bruno, for acting disrespectful and ungrateful toward Ashur. For wanting to crush anything that stood in the way of finding the answers he needed to save the girl standing before him.
To hell with the rest of the world; Cleo was all he cared about.

HE didn’t let me down. HE was a perfect husband. HE would do anything for the girl he loves. HE….he would come back from the grave for her-and he shows it tirelessly here. His love is endless and boundless and I adore him. Their love is insurmountable and they’d burn the world down for each other-I truly love this couple and I am going to miss them so so dearly. But isn’t that the best? When a series is large and you STILL didn’t want it to end? That’s only happened here, for me. So, for that, Morgan Rhodes will always be a Rockstar in my eyes. AND-honorable mention: I didn’t care about any of the other POVs before book 5, but in book 5 and this one, they all won me over and I didn’t feel the need for that incessant skimming I did throughout the others-that’s just…it’s amazing.

Now-even though this book is absolute perfection to me, I must mention some things that I [I guesss] weren’t perfect. Okay. I guess there were some things that happened that came off as repetitive. IE they happened a couple too many times? And, even though I loved said thing happening a few times, others might roll their eyes. And I DO think the, ahem, ‘escaping?’View Spoiler ». That’s not really a spoiler, but I don’t want to hinder anyone’s thoughts on the matter before they go in (I HATE WHEN THAT HAPPENS TO ME AND I ALWAYS COMPLAIN AFTER). I loved that it happened, and I know it couldn’t have happened any other way, but I do wish it would have View Spoiler ». Though…I suppose if I read them back to back, it wouldn’t have mattered because hey, boy went through some Hell, am I right? Perhaps here I was too harsh. And finally, I think I wanted an even BIGGER bang of an end-but, honestly, I still adored it.

I think I’m still being a pissy pink elephant, though, because I wanted one tiny (it wasn’t tiny) thing to happen that didn’t. BUT it would have ruined the possible HEA so I need to shh.

OKAY. Now I’m just rambling. So I’ll end it here. Mags, Cleo, Jonas (my favs the whole time)…Amara, Lucia, Felix, etc. I really did like the end of it all. I really hate long series because, as they progress, they truly do lose something-But that never happened here. In fact, I only loved each installment more and more-so that is something truly special in my eyes. And yes, this is more of a fangirl review and not all poetic and pretty with the words like I know I can do…but sometimes you gotta let that freak flag fly-and if you can’t do it for one of your favorite characters and favorite series of all time…when CAN you do it? If you have read every book and are just waiting on this installment….have fun. I know you will love it, or at least really like it. Not everyone can love all the POVs. If you haven’t read this series? Shame on you. Shame shame shame. If you are considering it? I’ll forgive you. Just this once….but you MUST read it-or I’ll rescind my forgiveness and take all my kindness away lol. Go forth…and enjoy. <3


Oh guys. This book. You know when it’s the final book and nothing can compare to your wild expectations? Well…this is me at work:

But inside….Inside THIS is me and WAS me the whole entirety of this beautiful novel:

Because frankly, Magnus has become close to a number one bbf in the span of less than a year. Because this book made it so I literally felt like I couldn’t breathe, like the butterflies MIGHT just take over my stomach and come out through my mouth. Because this book, aside from maybe ONE teensy thing I wanted to happen (because, again, I am a masochistic butthole), was everything I could possibly have hoped for. Because this book…it was perfection.

But like with all wonderful series…I’m sad to see it end. But I couldn’t be prouder of this author and how she managed to end with integrity and with a series that never lost steam, but actually GAINED more fans as it progressed. That is SO rare and I am OBSESSED with it. In fact, this might be a top 3 or 4 on my list-and nothing has broken onto that list since, like 2013. So. Yeah.



Whooooo loves Penguin Teen? Chellllseeaaaa loves Penguin Teen. Is it truuuuuuue??? MMHHMMMMMMM.

I do I do I DO-ooooooooo

Did I mention I have ALL THE LUCK?! ALL OF IT.

***Sorry for 5 reposts. I coudn’t get my sharing photo site to work!!!!!!!!!!

View all my reviews

BLOG TOUR + BOOK REVIEW: Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms #3) by Morgan Rhodes

BLOG TOUR + BOOK REVIEW: Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms #3) by Morgan Rhodes

In preparation for the impending final release of the Falling Kingdoms series *eek*, we are singing our praises for the third installment, Gathering Darkness! I must admit that this is the book that really made this wonderful series unforgettable to me. Magnus and Cleo start to turn a corner and *stuff* really begins to hit the fan! We are so honored to be involved in this tour and cannot WAIT for more people to fall in love with this addicting and unputdownable series. We are hoping for nothing but the best....but waiting this last month might just be the end of us as we await everyone's fate! Below is a 5 star review and all you need to know about anyone and anything from these stories (though, who needs to learn about anything other than Magnus? Hmmm...I may be biased). Enjoy!

BLOG TOUR + BOOK REVIEW: Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms #3) by Morgan RhodesGathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms #3)
by Morgan Rhodes
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


In GATHERING DARKNESS, book three of the New York Times bestselling Falling Kingdoms series, the stakes have never been higher as three teams push forward on a race to find the Kindred, the four elemental crystals possessing ancient all-powerful magic, first:

Prince Magnus has just witnessed torture, death, and miracles during the bloody confrontation that decimated the rebel forces. Now he must choose between family and justice as his father, the cruel King Gaius, sets out to conquer all of Mytica. All Gaius needs now are the Kindred - the four elemental crystals that give godlike powers to their owner. But the King of Blood is not the only one hunting for this ancient, storied magic...

• THE KRAESHIANS join the hunt. Ashur and Amara, the royal siblings from the wealthy kingdom across the Silver Sea, charm and manipulate their way to the Kindred, proving to be more ruthless than perhaps even the King of Blood himself.

• THE REBELS forge ahead. Princess Cleo and vengeful Jonas lead them, slaying with sweetness, skill, and a secret that can control Lucia's overpowering magic - all so they can use the Kindred to win back their fallen kingdoms.

• THE WATCHERS follow Melenia out of the Sanctuary. They ally in the flesh with King Gaius, who vows to use Lucia's powers to unveil the Kindred.

The only certainty in the dark times is that whoever finds the magic first will control the fate of Mytica... but fate can be fickle when magic is involved.


Cleo’s cheeks flamed. “I hate you.”

“Good. You should never forget your place in this palace. You continue to live only because my father doesn’t yet want you dead. You have no power here. And, most especially, you have no power over me.”

It’s always extremely hard to talk about each book in a long series in a review, because you begin to spoil and become repetitive….but for Magnus?? I’d try just about anything. This series, while easily dismissed by those who aren’t truly enraptured by one of the characters, has a way of really getting under your skin. It’s not so much the scenarios, though those are of some note as well, but about the characters and the deep-rooted connections you make with them.

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In all honesty, had I not connected immediately with Magnus, this series would have been discarded like many before. I am very busy, and I really only get to read around when I go to bed-about 10 PM, and then it’s right back to the 8-5 grind and I have to wait all over again. So, when I begin a book, series, whatever, I make sure it’s worth my time and that it touches my heart, one way or another. Some books touch me because of just their content (this is probably tribute to a couple years ago, more so than now) and some reach me on a far deeper level than I could possibly imagine….and that is because of the characters.

Magnus glanced at Cleo. She held her arms across the bodice of her rose-colored gown, which was far fancier than anything typically worn on a walk through a thick forest on a hot day. She regarded him with a silent, sour expression-not a new look for her by any means.
“And why are you here?” he asked her.
“I want to help,” she replied.
“Oh, yes. So helpful.”

I never realized, until recently, how much my favorite books really center on the characters and their development. It’s far more important to me now to have character-driven stories rather than all action and no character arcs. Sure, my absolute favorites are those that perfectly balance both story and people, but, lately, more often than not it’s all about if the characters reach me and touch my soul.

Some sought revenge against their mortal enemies with the edge of a sword. Her plan for vengeance began with the edge of a smile.

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And I’m not saying that action doesn’t pull me in….but it’s definitely not my only drive anymore….and you can tell solely on my reviews that my preferences have changed. So, my point? This series, while action heavy and full of blood, destruction, mayhem, and peril, didn’t grip me for that reason. No, this series gripped me on a far more addicting level, and that honor solely belongs to my dear Magnus….and even Cleo.


As the series has progressed, these two characters have obviously grown, interacted, and became the obsession of many a fangirl-me included-and now, here in book three, we are really getting deeper into their minds, and with that, my obsession is reaching an all-time high. And, frankly, the stories have became far more interesting.

“I think that you hate your father. You hate him almost as much as I do.”
It took him a moment to realize he’d stopped breathing. “And what difference would it make if you’re right?” he finally managed.
“All the difference in the world.”

And, let’s face it, our ship is finally sailing…or is it??? The other best part about this series? I, for once, literally have no clue what’s going to happen and the sexual tension is DRIVING. ME. CRAZY. The twists and turns and admissions and deaths and ridiculous decisions…I swear, even halfway through book four, my head is still spinning. Stop it, Morgan Rhodes! Just…..STOP IT. Make it happen. Fetch TOTALLY needs to happen…PLEASE??

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So yeah, this isn’t a great review, but it’s not like anyone can read it if they haven’t read the series if I go all spoilery, so I chose to just…blabber. I miss blabbering. Blabbering about boys and books really does make me happy. So. Yeah. Take what you will from this nonsense…I’m off to work…and then tonight I’m hoping to FINALLY get what I want. I’m totally trusting Brittney, here. She threw me a trust bone, damn it. So I guess I’m supposed to sit here and wait and…trust. You know, until this alleged bone gets here. Ugh.

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Cleo’s cheeks flamed. “I hate you.”
“Good. You should never forget your place in this palace. You continue to live only because my father doesn’t yet want you dead. You have no power here. And, most especially, you have no power over me.”


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About the Author:

Morgan Rhodes is the New York Times bestselling author of the Falling Kingdoms series and the Falling Kingdoms spin-off series, the Books of Spirits and Thieves. Under another pen name, she’s an award winning author of more than two dozen novels. Morgan lives in Southern Ontario, where she’s currently hard at work on the next Falling Kingdoms book.



Follow the tour here!

WEEK ONE (Book One: Falling Kingdoms and Two Book: Rebel Spring)
January 9 – The Book Nut
January 10 – Quirky and Peculiar
January 11I Fangirl About Books
January 12Lovely Loveday
WEEK TWO (Book 3: Gathering Darkness)
January 15Glimpses of my Books
January 16Book Briefs
January 17In Wonderland
January 18Star-Crossed Book Blog
WEEK THREE (Book 4: Frozen Tides)
January 22Ex Libris
January 23Ensconced in Lit
January 24Step Into a Book World
January 25 – Ria Reads –
WEEK FOUR (Crystal Storm)
January 29My Friends are Fiction
February 1A Page with a View
February 2Never Too Many To Read
Many thanks to Penguin Young Readers for including us! <3

ANNOUNCEMENT-Welcome to Instagram!

Weellll, people…the time has finally come-Star-Crossed Book Blog is finally venturing into the Instagram world! You heard us correctly: We can’t stand not joining in on all the beautiful, artsy, and creative ways that all of our fellow book bloggers/friends have been displaying their favorite reads.

It’s not that we haven’t wanted to…but life gets busy, you know? We created it forever ago, but just couldn’t put all the pieces together to make a fun, cohesive, and altogether SUCCESSFUL bookstagram without doubts.

Well, I’m here to say that for 2018 we have put our heads together and really brainstormed a fun way to get our account going…and I’m reasonably sure y’all will be impressed. Well…we’re newbs-go easy on us, ‘Kay?

So, without further adieu, I present to you our account information so you can storm on over there and follow us:

Username: starcrossedbookblog

(Easy, right? lol and anti-climactic!)

Because, believe me, without your support we wouldn’t be where we are now. We love you and you guys are the best.

Here’s to a totally innovative 2018! We hope you guys enjoy the ride alongside us and love all our new ventures in the year to come. Cheers and happy new year!

BOOK REVIEW: Amour Amour (Aerial Ethereal #1) by Krista Ritchie & Becca Ritchie

BOOK REVIEW: Amour Amour (Aerial Ethereal #1) by Krista Ritchie & Becca RitchieAmour Amour (Aerial Ethereal)
by Krista Ritchie, Becca Ritchie
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


Love is a circus

"Every day,” he says lowly, “I hold a person’s life in my hands. The circus is based one-hundred percent off trust. I give it all to someone, and they give it all to me.”

The best aerial technique won’t land 21-year-old Thora James her dream role in Amour—a sexy new acrobatic show on the Vegas strip. Thora knows she’s out of her element the second she meets Amour’s leading performer. Confident, charming and devilishly captivating, 26-year-old Nikolai Kotova lives up to his nickname as the “God of Russia.”

When Thora unknowingly walks into the crosshairs of Nikolai’s after-show, her audition process begins way too soon. Unprofessional. That’s what Nik calls their “non-existent” relationship. It’s not like Thora can avoid him. For one, they may be partners in the future—acrobatic partners, that is. But getting closer to Nik means diving deeper into sin city and into his dizzying world.

Thora wants to perform with him, but when someone like Nikolai attracts the spotlight wherever he goes—Thora fears that she’s destined to be just background to his spellbinding show.

She’s trying to find herself. Some days I still wonder if I’ve found me. Maybe we never stop searching. Maybe we evolve the way seasons change, seamlessly without really knowing, not until all the leaves have fallen.
This is who I am today.
Tomorrow I may be the same.
But in years, I’ll be someone else. Someone I may like more. Someone I may like less. And that’s okay. Because I’m still living.

It’s no secret that I loved Connor Cobalt with all my heart when I read the Calloway Sisters spin-off series in 2015. He and Rose made me happier than I could have imagined possible. And while I adored those two books that centered on the controlling and over-achieving duo, I just couldn’t fathom liking another book out of that series. They were always a bit long and always….heavy-ish, so I just couldn’t reconcile liking a book by these authors that relatively none of my friends have talked about.

I wish I could tap into his mind, even for a moment. To see how he sees me. For as much as Nikolai conveys, he’s still a mystery.
And I’m the curious girl who’ll step into it. Time and time again.

Then one day I just decided to give it a try….and I met one of the sweetest, most dedicated, most loyal men ever. I swear, why did all these books I adore have to come near the end of the year? What I needed was a book that wasn’t your typical romance, that wasn’t NA smut, something with some substance. And, ya know, normally I don’t love books that are a bit slower build, longer than they really need to be (which is a Ritchie trait, if you ask me) without much action, but it seems that some of my absolute favorites this year are just that: Punk 57, An Enchantment of Ravens, and now Amour Amour. There must be something in the water, because I am DYING of thirst when it comes to these books.

It became something more without noticing. Without realizing. “Am I a mistake—”
“No, myshka. You’re just the unexpected, beautiful thing in my life.”

Thora is selected to go try out for an Aerial company that has circus shows all around the world-her dream show? Amour. I kind of just pictured Cirque-du-Soleil (which I think was the point?) as I read, and it seemed to resonate and help me picture things I might have skimmed over before (I’ve never been that imaginative…which is why I use all the same stock actors and actresses with each book I read lol). Anyway, she gets called in for an audition, but she just isn’t up to par-not yet. And that’s where Nikolai comes in.

And he assumed right. Again. Probably based on Shay’s height, frame, build—like he did me that first night in Vegas. “Can you at least pretend to be full of remorse and regret?” This would be so much easier.
“No. A devil protects his demon.”

Nikolai lives and breathes the circus, grew up participating in shows with his family from the beginning. He’s a show stopper, and the spot for his partner just opened up…which is why Thora is in Vegas trying out for the coveted position. While doing his after-hours show on a Saturday night at a club, he challenges a cute girl to oppose him-and he instantly feels something towards her. A need to shield, to protect her perhaps. When they part ways that night, he warns her to not let the city eat her alive…and then the day of try-outs arrives, and he’s shocked to see that she wasn’t just a visitor in his town, but a tiny girl with more passion than she knows what to do with.

The slight prick of fear heightens my adrenaline, setting a fire beneath me.
Who can explain the drum of their heart or the burst of their lungs? Give me that person. I need them because words fail my senses.

So the story goes. Alas, I will say that, while I knew what the end would produce, the rest of the story was surprising the whole way through, a mystery until the end-and I respected that. I loved that I kept guessing and was never really right, and that, even though the story was a little predictable all in all, the writers kept it out of the cliché zone. Did I love that the motto of the story basically implies love comes second? Hmm no. When I read, I look to escape reality, not drench myself in it. But I did love that they weren’t pushovers for their attraction to one another. Did I love that it took so long for what I wanted to be said and for it to be admitted? Actually…yes. I did. I LOVE a slow burn, and I love how the authors didn’t just give me all the cookies in the cookie jar right away, but also didn’t keep them from being together. I won’t spoil, I’m just saying that it worked for me, and I didn’t think I’d be happy about it…but I was. I SO was, because it just gave me millions of butterflies and melted my crusty self into a puddle of goop when all the little things happened, leading up to a crescendo of feels.

He said, “All you need is luck. The rest, you’ll do great at.”
I smiled. “Is that my trainer speaking?”
“Yes,” he said, “but you’d probably think it’s a problem.”
I hesitated, “Why’s that?”
He stood up, towering above me with those intense grays. “Your trainer is in love with you.”

I’ve gotten even more dramatic in my old age, haven’t I? I’m a sap, a puddle of goo…but I just love that I can still be surprised by books when I thought I was starting to lose all my fangirl feels. Nikolai…I don’t know. He’s Russian, which was hard for me to picture? I know that makes me sound like a snob, but obviously I’m not a total snob because he won my heart over in, like, two pages. He stole my breath at the oddest of times, when I least expected it, and he would do ANYTHING for Thora.

“I’d help you every day so that you could see a better tomorrow. I will never give you less than that.”


“Why help me?” I ask softly. I expect him to say, I don’t have an answer.
“I admire your courage. I know what you’ve given up to be here. I know the kind of artist it takes to land a role. I know that you won’t receive one on your own. And I imagine you, myshka, two years from now, working at Phantom with the same aspirations, the same dreams, in the same place where you are now. It’s wasted courage. And wasted love. You shouldn’t have to waste those things.”

Which, okay, let’s talk about that name real quick-it’s like a couple name smash that went wrong-Thor and Nora for the win? Ha BUT ANYWAY, he had rules. He was strict with his ‘Circus before love’ bit. But Thora wiggled into his heart, made him feel whole…and she made him question what was more important. And, when faced with the fact that he may lose her if she didn’t make the Aerial team in January, it broke his heart-but not once did he let it show that he would die if she left, because her dreams were more important to him than his own happiness. I mean…I can’t even. He was just…I can’t. Not once had he been distracted from the true love of his (and Thora’s) life, the circus, but Thora made him break the rules, made him do things he’d never done before. And one scene breaks my heart in the best possible way, and I can’t say but….I think you guys would know if you read it. It’s EVERYTHING.

He stares down at me, waiting. I always pause. And he rarely fills the silence with his own voice. He just looks so deeply into me and gives me time to find the right thing…
“I’m in love with you,” I whisper.
He tries to smile but his eyes flood instead. “Don’t love me more than your dreams, myshka. Because I love you too much to let you give them up for me.”

So yeah, it wasn’t a perfect book-it didn’t have non-stop action, it might have dragged JUST a teensy bit, and I wanted to punch her best friend. But Nikolai’s adorable jealousness, the family bonding that only these sisters can write/produce, the friendships, the palpable love between Nikolai and Thora, the tenderness with which he treats her, takes care of her, the story line that makes you feel like you’re a part of Vegas…yeah, I’d say this is one of my absolute favorites. Hands down. And I’d say you’d be silly to not give this one a try.

I never even dreamed of finding love. It’s been low on my list of pursuits. I thought I’d tackle that later. Maybe in ten years. I’d fall in love for the first time then.

I wish someone would’ve told me that you can’t search for love. That one day, it will find you.
An unexpected thing.

BOOK REVIEW: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

BOOK REVIEW: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret RogersonAn Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
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A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

“…Why do we desire, above all other things, that which has the greatest power to destroy us?”

What to say about An Enchantment of Ravens? Do I say it came out of nowhere and simply blew me away? Do I say that it stole my heart in the blink of an eye, a breath, a moment? Do I say that I’ve had the same favorite book in mind for 2017 since January and this story came and [almost] blew that one to smithereens? Because there is only one word that truly describes what I feel (and felt while reading) about this book-Perfection.

The whole world and its myriad possibilities shrank down to the tingling caress of his fingertips every time they brushed my scalp: all its beauty, and all its terror. Did other girls feel like this the first time they let a boy touch them?

This book, to me, was absolute perfection. A breath slowly releasing with each page that passed, calming me in a way not many books do anymore. It calmed my soul because, with every new moment, I felt like I was coming home. I don’t get to read fantasy often, so when I finally get to read one and it touches me in the way this novel did, it makes my heart sing. I felt at peace, yet that and the release of breath are contradictions-because, even though my soul was calm and my heart was singing it’s praises, my head and my whole being were dying with the peril and heart-wrenching, soul crushing forbidden love.

I’d always scoffed at stories in which maidens pine for their absent suitors, boys they’ve hardly known a week and have no business falling for. Didn’t they realize their lives were worth more than the dubious affection of one silly young man? That there were things to do in a world that didn’t revolve solely around their heartbreak? Then it happens to you, and you understand you aren’t any different from those girls after all.

I was a mess, crumbling to pieces on the floor, as these two journeyed (a traveling-ish book, too, oh my! What’s happened to me?!) towards a perilous and mysterious end they could never have predicted. Every page dripped with beautiful writing. Every scene that Rook acted as if Isobel were nothing amplified their animosity over a love that could never be. Every step was a heartbeat they began to share as they slowly fell for one another. And every look from the other fae was a jab in the gut, a reminder of how badly things would surely end. Every single one of these moments stole my heart.

This was a look that would make time stop, if it could. Soft and sharp at once, an aching tenderness edged with sorrow, naked proof of a heart already broken. Here I stood in a dragonfly dress, holding his arm, and he knew our time was almost over.

Look, I know I’m being over-dramatic. But this book, guys, this book! It. Was. EVERYTHING. To me. I can’t explain it. And I can’t deny that I could see why some people would be bored. Scratch that, because it’s a bold faced lie-I really see no flaws with this book, and that’s so unheard of for me. Can I say that it’s not for everyone? Sure. I admit it. I mean, it’s fae, for crying out loud. But other than that, we have a true masterpiece here:

-A beautiful, vivid, detailed world
-A strong heroine with a backbone that won’t give up her life or her dreams for the love of her life
-An amazing, flawed fae, a self-sacrificing Prince who would do anything to keep Isobel safe, to save her no matter the cost, and risks himself on a regular basis
-Imminent danger, though subtle and enough to make your heart stop with its coyness
-Fun banter
-Hate to love (kind of. I can’t quite explain what happened here)
-And….it’s a standalone. Come OOONNN now. Score.

Was I enamored with what he represented—that wistful fall wind, and the promise of an end to the eternal summer? Did I only want my life to change, or did I want to change it with him?


How much was I willing to risk for it? The old me, the one who’d hidden Rook’s sketches in the back of her closet, would never have asked that question. But that was the problem with the old me, I was coming to realize. She’d accepted that behaving correctly meant not being happy, because that was the way the world worked. She hadn’t asked enough—of life, or of herself.

I hate to say it, but this book may have swooped in out of nowhere and became my favorite of the year. Yikes. Poor dirty, sexy Punk 57. RIP. A new sheriff came to town, and it contains no smut whatsoever…but made my heart palpitate in an unyielding beat that I simply can’t contain. I miss this book on a daily basis, wishing I had more Rook and Isobel to read about.

“I just recalled the spring court holds a ball this time of year. If we haven’t missed it, we might be able to attend.”
“Yes, that seems like the perfect thing to do while fleeing for our lives,” I said.
“Then we shall go,” he concluded, pleased.
I snorted, completely unsurprised. “Fair folk are impossible.”
“That’s irregular, coming from a human who can’t even eat a raw hare.”


“You had better not have done that to anyone,” I warned him.
“I haven’t!” he said, with feeling. He proceeded to ruin the effect by continuing, “It’s always seemed tiresome. All they do afterward is leak a great deal, and then come back to the forest to shout at you.”
I shook my head. God, what a menace.

I won’t say much more or waste any more time, but I will say that Rook was…he was just perfection. He was a pouty, cocky, privileged little shit, but he had a heart of gold. He was different from his kind, showing emotions that long since died with the fae, making him a problem. Making him a threat. Making him someone who the fae want to dethrone and catch in any little mistake so they can take everything away from him. I’ll admit I’m a sucker for a man/boy who cries, who makes desperate sounds, etc., and he had this in spades. For someone who is virtually indestructible, he was a vulnerable prince-both in personality and in physicality. But even so….he did everything in his power to keep his love safe. But we all know how forbidden romances go, don’t we?

He hesitated. But then the horn sounded again, and he only added, “One raven for uncertain peril. Six for danger sure to arrive. A dozen for death, if not avoided. The enchantment is sealed.”


“And I’m not certain you’re in any state to protect me,” I went on, sensing a lost cause. “Just now you were almost assassinated by a teapot.”
“Isobel.” Rook looked at me gravely. “Isobel, listen. The teapot is of no consequence. I can defeat anyone, at any time.”
“Oh, is that so? That’s the truth?”
“Yes,” he replied.

All in all this book was absolute perfection. Yes, I said that at the beginning, but I’d like to round out the review by saying so. I guess I did just think of one flaw-it was near the end, and I’ll admit I’m super hard on endings-they almost are never what I’d like them to be. Not dramatic enough, not believable enough, not what I envisioned, etc. This wasn’t huge, but it did bother me…the villain. I do think that was…hmmm…less than I expected. But that’s all. Literally. Everything else I loved, and I don’t say that lightly. I hope I’ve convinced at least one person to read this. And, if that one person is you, I’ve done my job thoroughly, as far as I’m concerned. Oh, and if said person is you, and you read this scrum-diddly-umptious book….message meeeeeee :P. I have, like, gotten to talk to NO ONE about this!!! Boo.

Our worlds are small, our lives are short, and we can only bleed a little before we fall.

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