May 20, 2019

Weekly Spotlight - Retellings


“They said that love was terrifying and tender, wild and sweet, and none of it made any sense.
But now I knew that every mad word was true.”



Forest of a Thousand Lanterns
An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl's quest to become Empress--and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng's majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins--sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.




Ash&Bramble
When the glass slipper just doesn’t fit…

The tale of Cinderella has been retold countless times. But what you know is not the true story.

Pin has no recollection of who she is or how she got to the Godmother’s fortress. She only knows that she is a Seamstress, working day in and out to make ball gowns fit for fairy tales. But she longs to forsake her backbreaking servitude and dares to escape with the brave young Shoemaker.

Pin isn’t free for long before she’s captured again and forced to live the new life the Godmother chooses for her—a fairy tale story, complete with a charming prince—instead of finding her own happily ever after.

Sarah Prineas’s bold fairy tale retelling is a dark and captivating world where swords are more fitting than slippers, young shoemakers are just as striking as princes, and a heroine is more than ready to rescue herself before the clock strikes midnight.



Cruel Beauty
Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.


Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.


With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.


But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.


As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.



May 17, 2019

Sweet Do-Over




Title: Sweet Do-Over
Author: Melissa McClone
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: Najla Qamber Designs
Publisher: Cardinal Press, LLC
Publication Date: May 17th, 2019

Blurb:
When architect Marley Patterson goes out with Von Ryan, she never expects her practical, cautious life to be turned upside down by the handsome contractor. Von is the definition of fun until his proposal sends her into a panic. Marriage is too serious a commitment to make after dating for only six months. Even though she cares for Von, they are too different so she breaks up with him.


Being rejected hurts, but Von blames himself for not reading the signs and Marley better. He finds solace in work; however, his construction company’s success isn’t enough. He wants to share his life with a woman who’ll love him as much as he loves her. She’s out there. All he has to do is find her, and, this time, be patient for the relationship to develop on its own.


After Marley is assigned to Von’s new project in Indigo Bay, he treats her the same as everyone else—professionally and with respect—though neither can deny a strong mutual attraction still exists. Soon Marley realizes she may have been the problem with their relationship, not just Von’s proposal. She wants a second chance, but after breaking his heart once, will he give her a do-over?



USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group and been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award. With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters. Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

Author Links:
Website: http://www.melissamcclone.com
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Amazon author page: https://amzn.to/2E9EIwi


Voices sounded from the entryway, but she couldn’t make out their words.

A door slammed. Footsteps sounded.

“Marley.”

Recognizing Von’s voice, she turned. “Hey...”

Whatever she planned on saying died on her lips as if someone had flicked off the switch controlling her brain. The rest of her organs, however, were functioning fine.

Her heart thudded, and her breath caught in her throat. Both unwelcome and unexpected responses.

Had Von always looked this hot?

She’d worked hard to push him out of her mind, blocked his number, and deleted his photos from her social media accounts and phone. Only the video of his ill-fated proposal remained, but she’d watched it only once. That had been one time too many. His pain had been brutally exposed for all to see.

Pain she’dcaused.

For the best, she’d been telling herself since then. But seeing him now...

She’d forgotten how Von’s green eyes resembled a stormy sea. He’d cut his hair. The style was attractive on him, but she missed seeing his sandy blond locks falling in waves past his shoulders. Despite the shorter length, her fingers itched to reach out and wrap around one curl.

Stop.

Thinking about him this way was bad. Wrong.

Yet she couldn’t seem to help herself.

Von Ryan had always been handsome, but breathtakingly gorgeous was the only way to describe him today. Especially with the stubble covering his normally clean-shaven face.

“You’retaking over for Rhett?” The slight crack in Von’s voice was the only sign he might not be okay seeing her again.

Marley struggled to make sense of his question, and then she remembered why she was here.

Work. The Starling project. Her future at RMF.

“Yes.” The word shot from her mouth like nails from a gun. She hadn’t expected to be so nervous around him. “I hope that’s okay.”

“Why wouldn’t it be?”

His nonchalant tone bristled. She wanted to make her presence easy on him. If he didn’t have an issue that was great, but... “Cody acted surprised.”

“So am I, but it’s no big deal.”

Okay. Von was taking this well. “It’s not. We’ve worked together before.”

He nodded. “I have no problem with the two of us being on the same project.”

“Me, neither.”

Von pulled out his cell phone, a newer model from the one he’d had before. “You’re early. Mr. Starling won’t be here for thirty minutes.”

Good. That was what she planned. “I’d like to see the house and property before he arrives.”

“You have plenty of time,” Von said in the professional tone he used with subcontractors and inspectors. “If you have questions, Cody can answer them.”

In the past, Cody had never interacted with her in that way. Von had also given her personal tours of each project. But things had changed. “Thanks. I will.”

Focusing on his phone, he tapped on the screen. She watched him, waiting for him to look at her or say something else.

Von didn’t.

O-kay. Except she felt anything but okay.

Her insides short-circuited as if a conduit was twisted after being installed wrong.

What was going on?

She headed to the French doors leading to the deck.

Yes, Marley had been the one to break them up, but Von acted as if she were a stranger, not the woman he’d pledged his undying love to before asking her to marry him. She tried to understand why that bothered her.

Maybe she assumed he was still infatuated with her because he’d treated her as if she was the smartest, most important person in the world.

His world.

Not that he was being rude or mean to her now, just indifferent.

That confused her, left her feeling disconcerted and unsettled.

Stupid.

She couldn’t have it both ways.

Marley should be relieved Von was acting as professional as he’d always been. If this kept up, the project could remain hers. Which was what she wanted—needed—to get her one step closer to a promotion.

Any unease had to be from the shock at seeing Von again. The last time had been a mess of sympathetic tears for him while simultaneously struggling to hold herself together, so they’d made progress. Everything would be fine.

A glance over her shoulder showed Von still on his phone. His expression gave nothing away. “Nothing” being who he might be texting. A client, one of his crew, his sister, or...a girlfriend?

It didn’t matter—was none of her business.

Yet Marley wanted to know.

Desperately.






May 16, 2019

Noble




Title: Noble
Author: Dawn Umrie
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: Rebecacovers
Photographer: Aleske
Publication Date: May 16th, 2019
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR

Dane
What does the expression, “having it all” mean?

For me, does this mean having a career as a successful author?

With more money than I need, best friends… a nice house?

I’ve been publicly linked to a phrase that might as well be mythical in nature.

No one person walking this earth “has it all.”

I have a privileged life, yes, but is it anywhere near fulfillment?

Not even close… until I met her.

Skylar

I won’t deny that I view the world through rose-tinted glasses.

Maybe it’s because I’m an artist, or maybe it’s because of my upbringing.

Regardless, not a single day goes by that I’m not grateful for my life, my friend, my apartment.

I never dwell on what might be lacking in my days, but spending my time picking them apart will never allow me to grow and flourish.

That’s not how I’d like to spend my life.

Have I reached the level of contentment I’m yearning for?

Not even close… until I met him.




Dawn Umrie can usually be found in her office sipping a cup of Dunkin' Donut's coffee with her Chihuahua sleeping beside her desk.

After years of being an avid reader, she finally took the leap in January 2018 and began writing the first draft of her d├ębut romance novel, Blue Diamond.

When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys mixing essential oil potions, listening to K-pop music, and watching the cheesiest romance movies she could find.

She happily resides in South Florida with her husband, two children, and Hannah (the Chihuahua).

Author Links:





May 7, 2019

The Art of Hiding

The Art of Hiding
by Amanda Prowse

Book: Stand Alone
Publisher: Lake Union n
Pub Date: July 18, 2017
Genre: New Adult
Format: eBook
Source: Publisher
Book LinksGoodreads  Amazon  Book Depository

What would you do if you learned that the life you lived was a lie?
Nina McCarrick lives the perfect life, until her husband, Finn, is killed in a car accident and everything Nina thought she could rely on unravels.
Alone, bereft and faced with a mountain of debt, Nina quickly loses her life of luxury and she begins to question whether she ever really knew the man she married. Forced to move out of her family home, Nina returns to the rundown Southampton council estate—and the sister—she thought she had left far behind.
But Nina can’t let herself be overwhelmed—her boys need her. To save them, and herself, she will have to do what her husband discouraged for so long: pursue a career of her own. Torn between the life she thought she knew and the reality she now faces, Nina finally must learn what it means to take control of her life.
Bestselling author Amanda Prowse once again plumbs the depths of human experience in this stirring and empowering tale of one woman’s loss and love.

My Review: DNF.

I didn't like this book at all. Nina, is so annoying. Can't stand that her oldest doesn't share his life with her, is embarrassed by her, etc. The typical teenage stuff, and yet, takes it to heart way more that she should.

Then there is the whole thing about her being stuck so so far into a shell. Doesn't got out anymore, it's so bad that she doesn't get invited to anywhere anymore. Birthday parties, wedding, cookouts, etc. Everyone just gave up on inviting her.

Up to this part, the book was just bad. The writing, I couldn't get behind anything that was going on. Everything was all over the place. Then after Nina's husband died, things barely changed. 

I just couldn't deal with it anymore after only a few chapters.




My Rating:
✪✪✪✪✪

May 6, 2019

Weekly Spotlight - Everless



 “Maybe I am a mystery— a secret— that needs unravelling...” 





Everless
In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.


  



Evermore
Jules Ember confronts the girl who is both her oldest friend and greatest enemy in the highly anticipated sequel to Everless, praised by New York Times bestelling author Stephanie Garber as “an intoxicating blend of blood, secrets, and haunting mythology.” 

Jules Ember was raised hearing legends of the ancient magic of the wicked Alchemist and the good Sorceress. But she has just learned the truth: She is the Alchemist, and Caro—a woman who single-handedly murdered the Queen and Jules’s first love, Roan, in cold blood—is the Sorceress.

The whole kingdom believes that Jules is responsible for the murders, and a hefty bounty has been placed on her head. And Caro is intent on destroying Jules, who stole her heart twelve lifetimes ago. Now Jules must piece together the stories of her past lives to save the person who has captured her heart in this one.

Perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard, Kiera Cass, and Kendare Blake, Evermore is the high-stakes, star-crossed follow up to the New York Times bestselling Everless that fans have been waiting for. 


May 2, 2019

The Reader

The Reader
by M.K. Harkins

Book: Stand Alone
Publisher: Createspace 
Pub Date: August 17, 2016
Genre: Young Adult
Format: eBook
Source: Publisher
Book Links: Goodreads 

Hunted, shot, and without her memory, eighteen-year-old Ann Baker wakes in shallow water on a deserted Pacific Northwest island. She is soon approached by two young men claiming to be her friends. Something isn’t right, but when gunshots sound, Ann is left with little choice but to allow Devon and Archer to help her escape. Soon she finds herself in their North Bend mountain compound, where the higher evolved humans claim to be mind-readers. While Ann heals, she realizes they believe her to be one of the last and most powerful of all – The Lost One.

She’s welcomed by most with opened arms, but not everyone is happy about her arrival. A jealous adversary has plans for Ann, which spirals the entire Reader community into chaos. 

As lies, murder, and betrayal threaten to rip apart the once harmonious mountain dwellers, Ann is thrust into making a decision that could save or devastate not only The Readers, but all of mankind. But there’s just one glitch: by doing so it may require her to make the ultimate sacrifice.


My Review: LOVE! Where has this book been hiding?! 

Naturally, I was drawn in by the title. What reader wouldn't like a book about readers? Mind readers to be more pressie....

Ann is on a beach, shot, and with no idea what the heck happened to lead her to this point. 

Two guys, Archer and Devon show up and take her to safety. Seems to be okay, after Ann calms down a little bit and they give her some information.

It isn't until they arrive to their hidden home, that things really picked up. Ann is all fixed up, learns about who and what she is. The history of readers, their gifts, their enemies, and the special reader.

There is one reader who is said to find their mate, be stronger than the rest, and be the key to starting a war.

Ann comes to realize, she is the reader that they've been waiting a long time for. It took her a while to figure it out. But once she and Devon connected...everything changed.

Suddenly, there is a trial, a murder, a friend betrays her, and her parents are still alive. 

The second everything picked up the pace, everything changed. The whole book managed to drag me in deeper until the very last page. Many surprises that I didn't expect. But most of all, an amazing end comes to life. 

A super amazing story for any and all readers!


My Rating:
✪✪✪✪✪

Apr 30, 2019

Hearts Made for Breaking

Hearts Made for Breaking
by Jen Klein

Book: Stand Alone
Publisher: Random House
Pub Date: April 30, 2019
Genre: Young Adult
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

From the author of SHUFFLE, REPEAT and SUMMER UNSCRIPTED comes a new novel about mysterious boys, first-time love, heartbreak, and the incredible bonds of friendship.

17-year old Lark knows how to survive high school dating: date boys briefly, let them down gently, remain friends, and move on. Her best friends, Copper and Katie, think that Lark is denying herself the opportunity for true love because she does not want to be hurt. They challenge her to break her pattern by staying in a relationship long enough for Lark — or the boy — to fall in love. Intrigued by the challenge, Lark sets her sights on the mysterious new boy, Ardy, who has been labeled “undateable” by the other girls in school. Lark is curious about, and then completely intrigued by, the enigmatic Ardy — so much so that she finds herself falling for him, only to risk having her own heart completely broken.

Jen Klein has once again crafted a funny, contemporary story sure to resonate with teen readers.


My Review: Um...DNF.

I was hooked by the blurb of this book. Even more so, when I got an ARC. But this story fell short in so many ways.

Lark dates guys like its nothing. Because it is nothing, to her at least. She dates a guy, comes up with something to make them leaver her. Then the cycle goes on and on from there.

Her friends want her to change her views on dating. And so, she sets her eyes on Andy.

Andy is the new guy in school. Jot, smart, funny. Someone Lark can see herself with.

I wasn't all for the start. It was very slow. They are in Ikea, chat briefly about why they are there and then move on. I wasn't digging that start, but come about 5 chapters in, I was so done with the book that I moved on to something else.

I wish this book had turned out they way I expected...but alas, it wasn't meant to be.


My Rating:

Apr 29, 2019

Weekly Spotlight - Wendy Higgins



 “The bad thing about romantics was they put themselves out there for heartbreak” 




See Me
While most seventeen-year-old American girls would refuse to let their parents marry them off to a stranger, Robyn Mason dreams of the mysterious McKale in Ireland, wondering how he’ll look and imagining his cute Irish accent. Prearranged bindings are common for magical families like her own, however when she travels to the whimsical Emerald Isle she discovers there’s more to her betrothal and McKale’s clan than she was led to believe. 

What starts as an obligatory pairing between Robyn and McKale morphs over time into something they both need. But one giant obstacle stands in the way of their budding romance: a seductive and deadly Fae princess accustomed to getting what she wants—and what she wants is McKale as her plaything. Love, desire, and jealousies collide as Robyn’s family and McKale’s clan must work together to outsmart the powerful Faeries and preserve the only hope left for their people.





Kiss Collector 
When seventeen-year-old Zae Monroe gets cheated on by the only guy she’s ever loved, then watches her parents' marriage crumble, she decides to forget about relationships and turn the tables on the boys of the world. It’s time to take what she wants, and what she wants are kisses. Athletes, musicians, poets, and bad boys—their lips are all on her agenda, and it's time to collect. 

Zae proposes a contest with her friends to see who can kiss the most boys during spring break. But what starts as a harmless competition leads to a downward spiral she can’t seem to break free of. As family, academic, friend, and guyS drama come to a head, Zae is forced to face the reasons behind her boy angst, and starts to wonder if she was wrong about the male race...or at least some of them.


Apr 25, 2019

A Reaper of Stone

A Reaper of Stone
by Mark Gelineau and Joe King

Book: A Reaper of Stone #1
Publisher: Authors
Pub Date: September 2015
Genre: Young Adult
Format: eBook
Source: Publisher


A Lady is dead. Her noble line ended. And the King’s Reaper has come to reclaim her land and her home. In the marches of Aedaron, only one thing is for certain. All keeps of the old world must fall. 

Elinor struggles to find her place in the new world. She once dreamed of great things. Of becoming a hero in the ways of the old world. But now she is a Reaper. And her duty is clear. Destroy the old. Herald the new.


My Review: Meh...

For a novella this was okay.....as the first book in the series, I expected it to have been longer, more detailed, a better building of the world.

Overall....it was just okay. Nothing amazing. This wouldn't be a series that I plan to pick back up and finish. It was just too boring for me. 




My Rating:
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