Category: Review (page 1 of 257)

BOOK REVIEW: The ​Crown of Gilded Bones (Blood and Ash #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

BOOK REVIEW: The ​Crown of Gilded Bones (Blood and Ash #3) by Jennifer L. ArmentroutThe ​Crown of Gilded Bones (Blood and Ash #3)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Bow Before Your Queen Or Bleed Before Her…

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes book three in her Blood and Ash series.

She's been the victim and the survivor…

Poppy never dreamed she would find the love she’s found with Prince Casteel. She wants to revel in her happiness but first they must free his brother and find hers. It’s a dangerous mission and one with far-reaching consequences neither dreamed of. Because Poppy is the Chosen, the Blessed. The true ruler of Atlantia. She carries the blood of the King of Gods within her. By right the crown and the kingdom are hers.

The enemy and the warrior…

Poppy has only ever wanted to control her own life, not the lives of others, but now she must choose to either forsake her birthright or seize the gilded crown and become the Queen of Flesh and Fire. But as the kingdoms’ dark sins and blood-drenched secrets finally unravel, a long-forgotten power rises to pose a genuine threat. And they will stop at nothing to ensure that the crown never sits upon Poppy’s head.

A lover and heartmate…

But the greatest threat to them and to Atlantia is what awaits in the far west, where the Queen of Blood and Ash has her own plans, ones she has waited hundreds of years to carry out. Poppy and Casteel must consider the impossible—travel to the Lands of the Gods and wake the King himself. And as shocking secrets and the harshest betrayals come to light, and enemies emerge to threaten everything Poppy and Casteel have fought for, they will discover just how far they are willing to go for their people—and each other.

And now she will become Queen…

Review:

You always had the power in you.

The Crown of Gilded Bones was an epic continuation of the From Blood and Ash Series! Betrayals, lies, and secrets wove their way through this book. While friendship, love and trust were there too. I loved how it all came together and created a story that was stunningly brilliant and magnificently crafted! It gave me chills, caused tears to fall down my face, and made me to laugh out loud so much, sometimes at the most inappropriate times. If you’re a fan of this series, or are contemplating picking it up, I can’t recommend it enough! It’s definitely one of my top favorite series ever!

I opened my eyes as the wolven stopped, lifting their heads to the sky. Their ears perked. My one-handed grip on the reins tightened as Setti pranced nervously beneath me as I reached down, placing my hand over the small pouch at my hip. The ridges of the small toy horse pressed against my palm. I stared at the banners, at the crest that represented Casteel and I, as large, winged shadows fell over the armies of Atlantia as they rode west.

This story was action packed and EVERYTHING I could have wanted and more. With my heart in my throat, it felt like I was watching a movie play out. We ended up getting so many answers to questions from the first two books and we got to learn everything right along with Poppy. I loved that she was in the dark too and that we got to piece things together with her. I also loved seeing how much she grew! From wanting to learn how to ride a horse by herself, to discovering mysteries from her past, to even watching her harness her powers, she was impressive! My love and admiration for Poppy grew, especially when she learned to use her voice and put others in their place that deserved it! And standing strongly by her side was her husband Cas, who I am beyond obsessed with.

“You know, don’t you?” He searched my eyes with his. “What you mean to me? What I feel for you?”
“Yes.”
He wiped away another tear with his thumb. “I never knew it could feel like this. That I could feel this for someone. But I do—I love you.”

Cas was seductive and lethal as ever. We got to see the depths he would go to keep Poppy safe.  He loved her with his heart, soul and every single thing that he was! And while my heart broke for the both of them at times, I loved how they became a formidable team. They talked and worked things out together. They were truly equals in their relationship. Poppy and Cas became the ultimate couple! And while the first two books were sexy….you guys!! This story seemed even more sexual! Poppy and Cas could go from sweet to beyond sensual *fans face*. I loved their moments together. I loved that they tried new things. And I loved a water scene the most, oh it was soooo hot! This book was seductive and so many fans of this series are going to love some of their more erotic moments!

That primal power surged, invading all of my senses. It silenced every emotion inside me until only one remained: vengeance. There was nothing else. No empathy. No compassion.
I was me.
And yet, I was something else entirely.

We got to spend time with so many of our favorites like Kieran.  I loved watching his relationship with Poppy grow!  Plus I kept my fingers crossed that we would get to see Ian and Tawny! But there was so much unknown. Who could Poppy and Cas truly trust?!  I found myself shocked to the core quite a few times over how things unfolded. Twists and turns collided with seemly innocent scenes that left me staring at the pages. Betrayal. Death in places I never thought of that hurt. Plans in place that rocked their world and left me terrified for Poppy.  And so much more.  My heart shattered at the unfairness of their world.  I cried so many tears. Yet, I kept hoping for retribution for certain things. Because this is Poppy and Cas. No one will stand in their way or not be punished for their wrong doings. I had so much faith and what unfolded was legendary!

“You will bow before your Queen.” Casteel eyed the Atlantian coolly. “Or you will bleed before her. It is your choice.”

The Crown of Gilded Bones will sweep you away and become an instant favorite! Especially since there was so much light in this story! I was beyond giddy multiple times over how things played out. And a few scenes had me laughing so hard I had tears coursing down my cheeks! You guys!!!! I want to say so much more but I also want you to discover all of these precious and heartfelt moments yourself. Just know that this story was filled with countless smile inducing and swoon worthy moments!  But that ending?! Muahahaha, it was heart stopping and I will be counting down the days until I can read the next book!

“What is going on with you two?” Jasper asked.
“Apparently, there’s a Willa who wrote a sex diary of some sort,” Kieran said with a sigh. “It’s Poppy’s favorite book or something.”
I turned to the wolven as Casteel made a choking sound again. “It is not my favorite book.”
“Nothing to be ashamed of if it is,” he said with an indifferent shrug, but I tasted his sugary amusement.
“A sex book?” Jasper repeated.
I was going to wither up and die right here.

PS I love that Journal! New passages were read and *fans face again* they were beyond scorching HOT!

 

More Favorite Quotes:

“Well,” Casteel drew out the word. “That will not be a quick death.”
Watching the stone turn black in the moonlight for a moment, I looked at Casteel. “I was wrong before. Some don’t deserve the honor of a quick death.”
One side of his mouth quirked, hinting at a dimple as his gaze flickered over my face. “Such a stunning, vicious little creature.”
 
He was beautiful. He was brave. He was intelligent. He was kind and accepting. He was ferocious.
And he was mine.
 
“I—”
“Let me guess,” he said. “You have a question.”
I frowned as I crossed my arms over my chest.
“What?” He glanced over at me.
“Nothing.” I exhaled heavily. A moment passed. “Kieran?”
“Yeah?”
“I have a question.”
He sighed, but there was a slight curve to his lips. “What is your question, Poppy?”
 
It was okay to be nervous. Who wouldn’t be in my situation? But I wasn’t afraid.
Because they were right.
I was brave.
I was fearless.
And I ran from no one and nothing—and that included a crown.
 
“I wish we weren’t about to have this meeting because I really want to fuck you on this table right now.”
My eyes widened.
Gods,” Kieran muttered, sitting back as he dragged a hand over his face.
 
Silence.
A tremor rippled through me. The hum in my chest pushed and expanded, and my heart—my soul—twisted because I already knew. Oh, gods, deep down, I already knew the answer. I cracked as I drew in a too-shallow breath.

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

 

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)

From Blood and Ash #1
Review:

Jen
 
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire   #2
Review:

Jen

The Crown of Gilded Bones #3
Review:
Jen

BOOK REVIEW: Kingdom of the Wicked (Kingdom of the Wicked #1) by Kerri Maniscalco

BOOK REVIEW: Kingdom of the Wicked (Kingdom of the Wicked #1) by Kerri ManiscalcoKingdom of the Wicked (Kingdom of the Wicked #1)
by Kerri Maniscalco
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Two sisters.

One brutal murder.

A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…

And an intoxicating romance.

Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe—witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin… desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost—even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked Princes of Hell that she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…

Review

“Love is the most powerful magic. Above all else, remember that. It will always guide you where you need to go.” She dropped her hands and stepped back. “Now go, bambina. Go be brave. Your heart will conquer darkness. Trust in that.”

This book had NOT been on my radar at all until Chelsea mentioned how much she loved it and a few friends from a discord server I’m on had been recently raving about it. I saw that it was short, had nothing else to read, and decided to pick it up. Let me tell you, if these were the olden days of no children and no full time job, I would have finished this baby in less than a day. Regardless of the little time I had to read, I DEVOURED it. I had never read any of Maniscalco’s previous books so I was stunned to find how much I loved her writing style. It was all so descriptive and basically had my drooling with every single mention of Italian food and drink (which seems to be general consensus of every single person who read this book, lol).

“Maybe. It depends on how many customers we have and how late it gets. Honestly, I might just go home and try out some new recipes, or read.”
“Ah. Such a pious young woman, reading the Good Book.”

“Mmh.” I smiled down at my cutting board. The novel I was in the middle of was a good book, it just wasn’t the Good Book. I refrained from telling him about the last chapter I read—the one where the hero expressed his love in many colorful and physically astounding ways. I supposed, technically, his stamina could be considered miraculous. I’d certainly become a believer of impossible expectations.


When it came to the actual story itself I was just as pleased. I always find it interesting to read about how different authors go about portraying witches and other paranormal entities in a “real world” setting (I don’t know if I would call this urban fantasy as its set in an earlier time period???). Emilia, the main character, is what you might call a “good” witch??? Her Nonna has forbid her twin and her from practicing any kind of darker magic or from even THINKING about anything of that nature.

See next paragraph and lol at me.

“One day you might beg me to kiss you.”

Okay guys…lol I feel like an idiot right now but I wrote the top half of this review like at least a week ago and I have no idea where I had planned on going with it after having consumed several other books since finishing this one. Basically all I really want and need to say is that Wrath is grumpy and hot AF. I need him and Emilia together and I am so intrigued by how the next book is set up and what will happen. If you haven’t already, I urge you to check out Maniscalco’s Pinterest boards because the stuff she has pinned for #2 look dark and sexy as hell. “As hell” lol get it? Anyway I pretty annoyed with myself about not doing a great job reviewing this because I really did fly through it. The chemistry between Wrath and Emilia was sooooo so hot and I thought their connection via beautifully changing tattoo/ Emilia screwing up her summoning to be both hilarious and exactly how I needed them to be forced together. I want more, more, more.

As above, so below.

BOOK REVIEW: The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

BOOK REVIEW: The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1) by Danielle L. JensenThe Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1)
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

“Heart-pounding romance and intense action wrapped in a spellbinding world. I was hooked from the first page!” – Elise Kova, USA Today bestselling author of A Deal with the Elf King.

A warrior princess trained in isolation, Lara is driven by two certainties. The first is that King Aren of the Bridge Kingdom is her enemy. And the second is that she’ll be the one to bring him to his knees.

The only route through a storm-ravaged world, the Bridge Kingdom enriches itself and deprives its rivals, including Lara's homeland. So when she’s sent as a bride under the guise of peace, Lara is prepared to do whatever it takes to fracture its impenetrable defenses. And the defenses of its king.

Yet as she infiltrates her new home and gains a deeper understanding of the war to possess the bridge, Lara begins to question whether she’s the hero or the villain. And as her feelings for Aren transform from frosty hostility to fierce passion, Lara must choose which kingdom she’ll save… and which kingdom she’ll destroy.

Passionate and violent, The Bridge Kingdom is a seductive fantasy perfect for fans of From Blood and Ash and A Court of Thorns and Roses.

Review

Ithicana needed a queen who was a warrior. A woman who’d fight to the death for her people. A woman who was cunning and ruthless, not because she wanted to be, but because her country needed her to be. A woman who’d challenge him every day for the rest of his life. A woman Ithicana would respect.

And there was one thing he was certain: Lara Veliant was not that woman.


At this point I have seen this book recommended a thousand times over in several different Facebook groups I’m in. Did I listen to any of those people? No. Do I feel like an idiot about it? Yes. THANK GOD I finally found people to push me about it with previous book opinions that I trusted or else who knows how long it might have been before it would have been picked up.

“I’m sorry I’ve been so terrible. You deserve someone better than me.”
Aren exhaled, but said nothing. The methodical movement of him climbing the stairs lulled her, consciousness slowly fading away. She didn’t fight it, because against all the odds, she trusted him implicitly. Still, she was aware enough to hear him, his voice hoarse as he said, “Since the moment I set eyes on you in Southwatch, there’s been no one but you. Even if I’m a goddamned fool for it, there will never be anyone but you.”
You are a fool, she thought as darkness took her.
And that made two of them.


After reading ACOSF I’m realizing that I’m in need of more adult fantasy recs. I will always love YA but it’s getting to the point where I want more darkness, more sexy times, and more characters that are legitimately adults. This was the perfect book for those wanting to transition from YA to NA/Adult fantasy I think. The characters still feel on the younger side and there’s nothing so explicit as what we saw in ACOSF (too bad really, lol) but damn there was a lot of darkness in this book. A lot of angst and real world countries-at-war-and-people-are-slaughtered type problems if you know what I mean. This is my first book by Jensen and I have to say, her writing was not what I expected in an entirely good way. I sometimes make the terrible assumption that for some series that don’t have as big of an audience/ are written by authors I know nothing about, that they aren’t that great. AND THAT IS, AGAIN, TERRIBLE. Don’t make the same mistakes as me, people. Read this book. Honestly you probably could read any of her books and they would be amazing (Dark Shores I’m coming for you next).

“I don’t want to leave.” The words were a truth dug from the depths of her heart. She did not want to leave Ithicana. She did not want to leave him. She wanted to stay, to fight and sweat and bleed for him and his harsh, wild, and beautiful kingdom.

On to the characters. Lara. Ooof you stubborn ass. She reminded me a lot of Celaena Sardothian if I’m being honest. She has a lot of really great growth in this book and beyond (I’m actually halfway through #2 right now) and I enjoyed watching her realize how much of a liar her father was and how she grew to respect the Ithicanian people. Aren. You’re also a stubborn ass. But with a heart of gold. Their romance was definitely of the slow burn nature but it was perfect for this book. While both of them might have felt a glimmer of attraction and connection early on, it did take time for them to actually fall in love and I really appreciated that.

“Look at me.” She did, pressing her cheek against his hand as he reached up to cup the side of her head. “I love you,” he said, his lips grazing against hers. “And I will love you, no matter what the future brings. No matter how hard I need to fight. I will always love you.”

The plot and ending. Well, well, well. The plot of this series is an interesting one. There is some really interesting world building and I was very glad for the map to reference places throughout the book. It was a lot but because Jensen’s writing is so colorful and descriptive I never had a problem envisioning what things looked like, only where exactly they were really. I am so interested to learn more about this world and these characters and to hopefully not have my heart ruined any more than it already has been by the ending! Lol good luck to all you who haven’t read this yet. You will certainly need it!

Aren cast his gaze over the replica of his kingdom. “Ithicana has always been at war, and what do we have to show for it?”
“We’re alive. We have the bridge.”
“Don’t you think it’s time we fight for something more?”

BOOK REVIEW: Bombshells (Brooklyn #5) by Sarina Bowen

BOOK REVIEW: Bombshells (Brooklyn #5) by Sarina BowenBombshells (Brooklyn #5)
by Sarina Bowen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The women's league is in the house! And Brooklyn will never be the same again for Anton Bayer and the team…

This is my last chance to ditch my playboy reputation and finally fulfill my potential. So I’ve made three rules for our biggest season yet: no boozing, no women, and no scandals.

Especially that last thing.

So who do I befriend on the very first day back at the rink? An amazing female hockey player. I want Sylvie in a way that’s more than just friendly. I crave her. But I have a championship to win, and so does she.

Then she gets her heart broken by my teammate, and I make the foolish mistake of comforting her in the best way I know how. Our night together sets off a string of sins.

Nobody can know about our affair, especially my overprotective teammate. I can’t let anyone see into my greedy little heart. Not even her.

The things I want from her, and the things we’ve already done? If anyone knew, there’d be bombshells.

Contains: a defenseman with dreamy blue eyes, a female goalie with bad ideas, a major battle of the sexes and a swimming pool scene...

Review

Hold the phone—this goalie is a girl. No—a woman. With rich brown hair and luck olive skin. She shakes out her hair, which seems to be in the process of escaping whatever braid or ponytail that had confined it. Then she smiles, giving the little girl a wave.
And I can’t fucking breathe. Her smile lights up her eyes, which are a warm brown. She is like the living, breathing picture of female perfection.


Reading about the same kinds of tropes over and over in romance, as long as I love them, rarely ever gets old to me. Authors come up new ways to spin things and unique and loveable characters to get attached to but all is well. That’s not to say though, that a lot of those book are just okay. Like I read them, they make me happy, and then they’re over with. THEN, there are books that you read and something strikes you like a bolt of lightning while reading a certain line and you just…can’t breathe. I felt that way when I read the quote found above. “And I can’t fucking breathe.” Like who wouldn’t want someone to look at them and literally lose the ability to breathe because they are so stunned by what they are seeing in front of them. That line for me was the very moment that I knew Anton and Sylvie’s story was going to be something extraordinary.

Sylvie stares right back at me. And then her hand finds the back of my neck, where her fingers sift through the short hair at my nape. Maybe she’s trying to make Campeau jealous. But my body doesn’t know that. Every nerve I possess sits up straight and sings hallelujah.
“Any man could lose his heart to you,” I whisper. “So easily.”
“Just dance with me,”
 she whispers back. “I’m don’t talking about him.”


I will never not feel comforted by Bowen’s writing and the familiarity that her characters and even just their world bring. When one of her books has that some extra though I feel like I’ve won the lottery. Baby Bayer, excuse me, Anton is freakin hilarious. I loved that even though he was trying to take things more seriously this season, he still was the funny guy without even trying. Sylvie was great. She was strong and kind, and so amazing. The chemistry that she and Anton had, even while just friends, was off the charts. Also, can I just say that I am so excited for more books with the Bombshells alongside the Bruisers? I know nothing about hockey other than what I’ve learned from romance books (LOLOL) but the thought of this woman’s team rising up like a phoenix from the ashes has me real excited for future books. If you’ve enjoyed any of Bowen’s previous books, I will personally guarantee you will love this one.

And the soundtrack running through my head is mine mine mine. And finally. I’ve never been so turned on, because I’ve never wanted anyone as badly as I want her.

Huge thanks to Sarina Bowen and Tuxbury Publishing LLC for the chance to read this eARC in exchange for my honest opinion. ♥

BOOK REVIEW: Chain of Iron (The Last Hours #2) by Cassandra Clare

BOOK REVIEW: Chain of Iron (The Last Hours #2) by Cassandra ClareChain of Iron (The Last Hours #2)
by Cassandra Clare
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The Shadowhunters must catch a killer in Edwardian London in this dangerous and romantic sequel to the #1 New York Times bestselling novel Chain of Gold, from New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Cassandra Clare. Chain of Iron is a Shadowhunters novel.

Cordelia Carstairs seems to have everything she ever wanted. She’s engaged to marry James Herondale, the boy she has loved since childhood. She has a new life in London with her best friend Lucie Herondale and James’s charming companions, the Merry Thieves. She is about to be reunited with her beloved father. And she bears the sword Cortana, a legendary hero’s blade.

But the truth is far grimmer. James and Cordelia’s marriage is a lie, arranged to save Cordelia’s reputation. James is in love with the mysterious Grace Blackthorn whose brother, Jesse, died years ago in a terrible accident. Cortana burns Cordelia’s hand when she touches it, while her father has grown bitter and angry. And a serial murderer is targeting the Shadowhunters of London, killing under cover of darkness, then vanishing without a trace.

Together with the Merry Thieves, Cordelia, James, and Lucie must follow the trail of the knife-wielding killer through the city’s most dangerous streets. All the while, each is keeping a shocking secret: Lucie, that she plans to raise Jesse from the dead; Cordelia, that she has sworn a dangerous oath of loyalty to a mysterious power; and James, that he is being drawn further each night into the dark web of his grandfather, the arch-demon Belial. And that he himself may be the killer they seek.

Review

This is now the 18th book I’ve read by Cassandra Clare. What’s even crazier is that I have been reading about the Shadowhunter world for FOURTEEN YEARS. Her writing and her characters have been with me through some of my most formative years alive and these books have honestly been part of the reason why I am such a lover of long, drawn out series with books big enough to knock a person out (you know, if you were to use one as a weapon which I don’t condone lolll). The Infernal Devices made me feel ~things~ back in the day that I honestly didn’t even know books could elicit. Tessa was a kindred spirit who loved books as much as I did and Will Herondale was exactly the kind of broody boy with dark hair and blue eyes that I dreamed out endlessly. Once I was fully ensconced in this world, I knew there would never be a day that I wouldn’t want to immediately read the stuff she puts out.

However, I have lately noticed that as I grow older, the stuff just doesn’t hit in the same way it used to. In my opinion it’s not on Clare’s writing. I think that has improved with each book. Her writing still CONTINUOUSLY has me aching for the characters and wanting more. I mean, at this point I don’t know if there has been ONE single relationship that hasn’t been fraught with angst and somehow each of them is angsty in a new way??? Like how in the hell does she even do that?

I think the biggest “issue” for me is that back in the day when I had WAY LESS obligations, I was able to re-read like every single book that had previously come out beforehand, leading up to the new book. Now I have a full time job and two kids which leaves me with a lot less time, even with audiobooks on a faster-than-normal, lol. At this point with The Last Hours not only do we have references to things that happened in TID but also characters/ events we see again later in TMI and TDA. Like holy crap I can’t keep anything straight anymore lol. Mark my words though, I am doing a COMPLETE chronological re-read before The Wicked Powers come out…someday.

ANYWAY on to my thoughts on this specific book:
1. I love every single Herondale but why do they ALWAYS get themselves into such deep shit? lolol I ask in my most loving of ways. ESPECIALLY when any kind of romance is involved. I’m truly starting to believe it’s some kind of genetic trai

2. I just want View Spoiler » to be happy forever

3. And for that matter,  View Spoiler » P.s. you should definitely read Ghosts of the Shadow Market before reading this

4. I am genuinely NERVOUS for Matthew. Like the fact that everyone keeps brushing his growing alcohol dependency under the rug and telling themselves that he’s not actually addicted…makes my heart hurt for ALL of them.

5. Cordelia might honestly be my favorite female lead of Clare’s of all time. I was talking to a friend about this actually and I think it’s because she is so different than almost every other lead we’ve ever seen. At the beginning of the series she is totally un-jaded to this world. She hasn’t had a traumatic thing happen to her with some kind of crazy death or tragedy like LITERALLY everyone else, lol. She purely wants to be a Shadowhunter for the sake of ridding the world of evil. Not any kind of revenge or even the glory. She is so pure of heart and heroic and literally is an amazing example of what (in a perfect world) Shadowhunters SHOULD all be like. I’m interested to see how her character reacts to certain events that unfolded in this book…

6. Damnit Tatiana you crazy old bat

7. OKAY WHAT THE HELL IS GOING TO HAPPEN View Spoiler »

8. I’m calling it right now View Spoiler » 

9. View Spoiler »

10. View Spoiler »

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