Book Review: Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper #4)

capturing the devilTitle: Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper #4)

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Pub. Date: September 10, 2019

Rating:


In the shocking finale to the bestselling series that began with Stalking Jack the Ripper, Audrey Rose and Thomas are on the hunt for the depraved, elusive killer known as the White City Devil. A deadly game of cat-and-mouse has them fighting to stay one step ahead of the brilliant serial killer—or see their fateful romance cut short by unspeakable tragedy.

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell have landed in America, a bold, brash land unlike the genteel streets of London they knew. But like London, the city of Chicago hides its dark secrets well. When the two attend the spectacular World’s Fair, they find the once-in-a-lifetime event tainted with reports of missing people and unsolved murders.

Determined to help, Audrey Rose and Thomas begin their investigations, only to find themselves facing a serial killer unlike any they’ve heard of before. Identifying him is one thing, but capturing him—and getting dangerously lost in the infamous Murder Hotel he constructed as a terrifying torture device—is another.

Will Audrey Rose and Thomas see their last mystery to the end—together and in love—or will their fortunes finally run out when their most depraved adversary makes one final, devastating kill?


This will be a spoiler free review. If you’re interested in a rant-y, spoiler-y incoherent stream of thoughts, I have that “review” written and will gladly post it. Let me know in the comments if you’d like that post.

I can’t believe the series is over. I also cannot believe that I’ve already finished the book? I know, you’re probably wondering why I can’t believe that. I’ve been behind the hype of each book since SJTR release. I always end up reading the books (or basically any new release) after the internet (book Twitter) is finished raving and/or ranting about them. Then I’m alone with my feelings screaming into the void.

Despite having pre-ordered two different book boxes – FaeCrate and Beacon Book Box – that included this book, I pre-ordered a normal copy in order to qualify for the pre-order incentive…so, yes, I will have three copies of this book. That third pre-order arrived the day of release (way to go Amazon – it’s been awhile since you’ve been on time) and despite knowing that I have other books/ARCs I have to read, I sat down and dove in.

Now, I’m a little conflicted on my feelings for this book – all of which I get into in my rant-y/spoiler-y review. Part of me loved this book, just like I’ve loved all of the books prior. The other part of me felt a little let down…hence the lack of rating, because I honestly don’t know how to rate this book. Ultimately I’ll have to rate it when I upload this review to Goodreads, but for now…idk. I feel like it can be hard rating a final book in the series. Rarely am I ever content enough with the ending to not want more…even though there isn’t more. I also want to mention that this is also the first book in the series that I haven’t listened to via Audible Audiobooks, so I’m not entirely sure if that plays a factor.

My expectations might have been high. I’ll admit that. I was super excited that the book was going to have H.H. Holmes as its bad guy, but I never could imagine how it was all going to play out. For such a long book, I expected him to be featured more. In a way he was – which I can’t go into with spoilers – but not in the way I expected him to be.

Instead, the majority of the book is a lot of inner turmoil and introspection going on in Audrey Rose’s head. A lot has happened to her in the last five months of her life – I get it. She needs to deal, cope and come to terms with it all. I’m here for the expression of feelings and not bottling them all up!

I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but this book felt a little like fan service, and I got kind of tired of it? I love Cresswell and Wadsworth, but oh my god. For two incredibly smart people, they acted kind of dumb.

There were also a few plot elements that I just didn’t care about and thought that they were added in for shock value. *ahem* chapter eighteen. Yes, I gasped. Yes, I raged. But the overall conflict that was presented, really does nothing but act as a slight deterrent for a handful of chapters. It held no real weighted consequence, because I figured Kerri wouldn’t tease at something, only to not have that highly desired something happen. That would just be cruel.

I also came to realize that my anger at Audrey’s choices in Escaping from Houdini haven’t really disappeared, and I think that might be why I was kind of, a little bit annoyed and against her in this book. Also, having read Becoming the Dark Prince, I would have loved to see this book in dual POV. Especially since Thomas has a lot of personal stuff thrown his way. It would have been really nice to see his side of things…especially the aftermath of chapter eighteen.

Also, Kerri just further enhanced my wishful longing to be able to time travel and go back and experience the Chicago World’s Fair in person. It’s one of those moments in time that was probably so incredibly cool to witness. I mean, because Tesla won the bid to light up the Fair, is the reason we use the light bulbs (the style of bulbs) we do today! So many advancements and wonders were on display and it had to have been marvelous…minus H.H. Holmes stealing women and killing them in his Murder Castle.

Albeit being a bit long, I do think that this book is a fitting conclusion to this series. It will captivate you and keep you reading until you’re ready to pass out…as I did. Thomas and Audrey kick ass and take some semblance of pleasure doing so, as they explore the Chicago World’s Fair and the disappearances of young women. It’s out now, so make sure you grab a copy and dive in!


And if you’re curious, you can check out my past reviews for the series here:

*I don’t have a review for Stalking Jack the Ripper, but I loved it!

Hunting Prince Dracula

Escaping from Houdini

Becoming the Dark Prince

 

 

It’s September, so time for the Autumn Tag! 🍁

It’s finally starting to cool off where I live…except we’re now supposed to have a heat wave this week? Maryland, get your shit together! I’m tired of sweating and I’m ready for sweater weather, hot apple cider, pumpkin carving, leaves falling, coffee and hot coco! I’m ready to move on from summer, it’s been great, but I’m ready for the cooler weather and the abundance of color in the trees and on the ground!

I initially saw this on Mari’s blog – Musings of a (Book) Girl – and knew that I wanted to do it! So, thank you for bringing it to my attention, and make sure you all go check out Mari’s post and her answers! Today I’m going to be completing The Autumn Tag which was created by Jenn from Jenniely!

🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁

Hot chocolate – what is your comfort book?

Do I even have one of these? I feel like as an avid reader I should. Besides Harry Potter, I think my comfort book is probably a tie between Eragon by Christopher Paolini, The Host by Stephenie Meyer and A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare. I know. Between the three of them – excluding HP – they are probably my most read books on my shelves. And even then, I don’t reread A Midsummer Night’s Dream at all often, but I absolutely love it. The other two are almost yearly rereads if and when time permits!

Pumpkin Carving – what is your favorite creative outlet?

Besides writing? Probably art, but more specifically painting. Ever since my senior year of high school, I kind of fell in love with painting. I enjoy Acrylic and Oil, but I thoroughly enjoy what I can do with an ink pen and water colors. I find them very forgiving and easy to use and build upon.

Falling Leaves – changes that appear bad but you secretly love?

I’m not a fan of change, so it’s hard to see them as anything to love. I think my lack of fondness comes primarily from living overseas and being surrounded by friends whose families were military. Ever year best friends were leaving – and yes, new ones came – but you’re still losing someone. From there it just got worse and now I’m not a fan of change and it’s one of the biggest stressors in my life. I do not handle it at all well.

Though in recent events, a guess a good change is the fact that the drug dealers who lived in my court after threatening everyone for years, have left, and the new neighbors are absolutely wonderful and are going to be normal neighbors…in the sense they aren’t drug dealers. So I can appreciate that change!

Pumpkin Spiced Latte – something you love that others tend to judge

Books. Reviewing. Writing. I could go on.

It’s tedious and tiresome and I get annoyed listening to people tell me about their ‘wisdom’ on what I should be reading, or what I need to be doing to get a book published. Or when I’m finishing my ‘silly’ book. 9 times out of 10 they have absolutely no clue and it’s honestly not worth my time or effort anymore to correct them. If they didn’t hear me the first time, they’re not going to hear me the tenth. I just keep doing what I do and ignore them.

Ps. I’m not a fan of PSL…so…there’s that too.

Bonfire Night – what makes you explode with joy?

My dog…when he’s not scaring the crap out of me with his health issues. Little update – he’s doing so much better than he was a week ago! Pretty much has done a 180 and is a little worse overall than before his episode last Monday but is basically back to his new ‘normal’.

Also, not as recently but a family friend’s newest little addition. He’s the cutest little baby boy I’ve ever met, and I just love him with my whole heart (I love her other children just as much!) I’m not necessarily a baby person, I tend to be nervous around them – probably due to lack of exposure – but I was SO excited to meet him, and I fell in love. Ya’ll he’s just so cute. My heart.

Fright Night – favorite scary book or film

I’m not one for horror. At all. I don’t really like being scared, my minds too active for that crap! I get all inside my head and then I get paranoid.

I’m usually down for a murder mystery, but if we’re talking actually “scary” then, I think I watched The Unborn like five or six times when it came out and I have no idea why. I definitely wouldn’t consider it a favorite. I can list about a million scary movies I hate…

Halloween candy – favourite thing to eat

Oh, this is hard. I don’t think I have a favorite food…no I lie. I lie SO HARD.

Put fries in front of me any day, any time, I will eat them. Legit, I love French fries. I crave them all the damn time.

Scarves – your autumn ‘must have’ accessory

Chunky sweaters + cardigans. They are staples in my wardrobe…give me jeans, a pair combat or ankle boots and a sweater and that’s my basic fall outfit. The slouchier the better. I want to legit wrap myself in the sweater or cardigan.

Fire – a book or film that burns your soul

This book isn’t even out yet, Echoes Between Us by Katie McGarry. I haven’t figured out exactly why I resonated with this book so much, but I felt it. It’s one of my new all-time favorites and everyone should read it when it comes out.

Toffee apples – a book or film that seems one thing but really has a different inside

For years I listened to my parents (and everyone else tbh) tell me that The Shinning (movie) was so weird, so freaky, it’ll mess you up…having no real desire to watch it, because not really my genre, when I finally did…I laughed. Maybe that says something entirely else about me, but I found the whole think to be utterly ridiculous. And maybe I had some preconceived notions and it had be imprinted on me that you should feel uncomfortable watching it, but I didn’t. I definitely don’t think it lived up to the hype, and I definitely did not bother me.

🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁

I want to thank Mari again for bringing this tag to my attention, and I want to actually tag two people, Sammy from Lady and Star and Mo from Morr Books! Can’t wait to see your responses!

And if you want to do this tag, feel free! I wasn’t tagged but loved the idea! I want to see your responses as well! Feel free to leave your answer(s) in the comments, or if you decide to create a blog post, leave the link to it!

I hope you all have a wonderful, cool and cozy autumn, because I’m so excited for this time of the year!

Book Review: Slumber

46141285Title: Slumber

Author: Becky Bird

Pub. Date: August 1, 2019

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5


A YA retelling of classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty

Prince Thomas cannot take the throne without a queen. Though the problem isn’t his lack of suitors but his refusal to marry a princess that is less than perfect.

The cardinal presents him with an opportunity: a quest to find the most beautiful princess in the land who has been in slumber for a century. But, unbeknown to the prince, the cardinal plans to kill him as soon as the prince embarks on his quest, and take the throne for himself.

Luckily, Prince Thomas’s path crosses with Lucy, a spirited orphan runaway, who saves his life and convinces the prince to continue the quest. When they eventually find Princess Aurora, they also find another contender – Prince Philip – vying for the princess’s heart.

Despite their mutual disdain for each other, Lucy agrees to assist the prince, and Thomas accepts her help to keep him alive long enough to beat out his competition and return to rule his kingdom alongside his perfect bride.

They just don’t count on falling for each other in the process.


This will be a spoiler free review and thank you NetGalley for providing a free copy for review!

I’ll be honest, I mainly downloaded this book as a quick read to help boost my NetGalley Reviewer Rating. The synopsis sounded cute and I figured that it would be a fun read that I could read quickly.

Well, it’s been sitting on my Kindle for about a month now, but I did happen to just read it in a matter of hours. I enjoyed this book way more than I thought I would, especially when I started it. It’s been so long (or at least it feels like it’s been so long) since I’ve been able to read a book and really just enjoy it. I was anxiously trying to anticipate what was going to potentially happen next. My heart was never racing, trying to leave my chest. It was just this kind of heartwarming, ridiculously fun, take on Sleeping Beauty. The feel of the story reminded me of the movie version of Ella Enchanted. It doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Everything I’ve read lately has been a pretty fantastic read, but they’ve required a lot of brain power, mental gymnastics and all my emotions. Slumber was kind of the opposite in the best way possible. It’s just a book you can sit down and enjoy and not go through an emotional gauntlet with the characters.

As for the characters, they were pretty fun! Prince Thomas is the one who goes through so major character growth, Lucy is your typical badass YA fantasy heroine, and doesn’t conform with the stereotypical norms for women. Her friend Jack was the comedic relief and mediator and just a fun and bit of annoying character. Aurora and Phillip – well, you’ll just have to meet them.

This book definitely takes the classic Sleeping Beauty (at least the Disney version) and kind of flips it on its head. There’s also this sort of meta element to this book, which weirdly worked. It’s not super prevalent, but some of the characters hint at things.

OH! This is also an ‘enemies to lovers’ sort of story, and in my opinion, it was pretty well done. You can tell that even when they (vague for spoiler-y reasons!) are going at each other’s throats, that there’s chemistry beneath it all.

Overall, I really did enjoy this book! When I started my review, I was going to rate it a solid 3, but I have to bump it up. The more I think about it, the more I genuinely enjoyed this book and everything about it!

 

Book Review: The Hidden Code

The hidden codeTitle: The Hidden Code

Author: P.J. Hoover

Pub. Date: September 10, 2019

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5


Eleven years ago, Hannah Hawkins’ parents disappeared while traveling abroad. Presumed dead, Hannah and her uncle are shocked when a letter from her mom arrives right after Hannah’s sixteenth birthday. By piecing together cryptic hints from the note and other clues left behind, Hannah realizes her parents disappeared while trying to find the mysterious Code of Enoch. An artifact they believed could hold the key to curing disease—or creating it—Hannah’s parents had been determined to destroy the Code, no matter the cost. Now with the help of her uncle, her best friend, and another cute but not entirely trust-worthy guy, Hannah sets out to discover what happened to her parents and if the Code of Enoch is real.


This will be a short spoiler free review!

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was a fun adventure read and I’m always down for an Indian Jones/Lara Croft/National Treasure kind of story. It was a little predictable and made for a pretty easy read. Once the ball starts rolling, it doesn’t stop until the end. This almost felt like a prequel to Lara Croft, since Hannah and her family basically have a very similar backstory.

I will say that I had a little bit of a hard time in really buying into the story, simply because of the character’s ages. I’m pretty sure that the main character is 16 and basically following in Indy’s footsteps…granted there is an adult figure with her, but he ends up not doing much at all. It almost felt like it had been written as a New Adult book and then the characters were aged down to fit a YA market. While, I did enjoy the book, I might’ve bought into it more if the characters had been slightly older, more independent in their own rights. Rather than them being stubborn teens, who think they know better than the adults in their lives.

I definitely hope that there is a second book, because I felt like I was finally getting to know the characters by the end of it. I really liked the group dynamic and relationships between them. If you’re looking for a fun adventure heist, you’ll definitely want to check this out! Out September 10, 2019!

Book Review: Tiger Queen

tiger queenTitle: Tiger Queen

Author: Annie Sullivan

Pub. Date: September 10, 2019

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.75


From Annie Sullivan, author of A Touch of Gold, comes Tiger Queen, a sweeping YA fantasy adventure that tells the story of a fierce desert princess battling to save her kingdom. Fans of Rebel of the Sands and Meagan Spooner will devour this retelling of Frank Stockton’s famous short story, “The Lady, or the Tiger?”

In the mythical desert kingdom of Achra, an ancient law forces sixteen-year-old Princess Kateri to fight in the arena to prove her right to rule. For Kateri, winning also means fulfilling a promise to her late mother that she would protect her people, who are struggling through windstorms and drought. The situation is worsened by the gang of Desert Boys that frequently raids the city wells, forcing the king to ration what little water is left. The punishment for stealing water is a choice between two doors: behind one lies freedom, and behind the other is a tiger.

But when Kateri’s final opponent is announced, she knows she cannot win. In desperation, she turns to the desert and the one person she never thought she’d side with. What Kateri discovers twists her world—and her heart—upside down. Her future is now behind two doors—only she’s not sure which holds the key to keeping her kingdom and which releases the tiger.


This will be a spoiler free review!

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was your typical YA Take Back the Throne fantasy romance. It was a bit predictable, but overall a quick, good read.

At the beginning of the book I couldn’t stand Kateri, but as the book goes on, and she learns some truths about her father and the reality he’s constructed around her, she becomes more and more bearable until I was rooting for her.

Kateri is very much a product of her upbringing. Princess of Achra, her father’s sole heir, adamantly against the Desert Boys who are stealing the Kingdom’s water. She’s all fire, vengeance and anger all the time. She wants to prove herself, claim justice/vengeance for her mother and brother’s murder and wants to rid the world of the Desert Boys and bring Achra back to life.

Cion on the other hand isn’t blinded by the comfy lifestyle that Kateri leads. He’s struggled and done whatever he’s had to, to survive. So when they cross paths, arguably only chaos will ignite.

I definitely enjoyed this book, and the romance was cute. The pacing was good as well, making it a quick read, but not so fast that I felt like I was missing important information. I really like the writing style, flower-y enough to paint a vivid picture, but not so heavy to slow down the story. I enjoyed the characters, even though some of them made me very angry. And most of all, I really like Kateri’s journey in this book. She massively changes, for the better, over the course of this book and it’s wonderful.

You definitely don’t want to miss this release, out September 10, 2019! Make sure you pick it up and read it!

 

 

 

Book Review: A Treason of Thorns

a treason of thornsTitle: A Treason of Thorns

Author: Laura E. Weymouth

Pub. Date: September 10, 2019

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️


Violet Sterling has spent the last seven years in exile, longing to return to Burleigh House. One of the six great houses of England, Burleigh’s magic always kept the countryside well. And as a child, this magic kept Violet happy, draping her in flowers while she slept, fashioning secret hiding places for her, and lighting fires on the coldest nights to keep her warm.

Everything shattered, though, when her father committed high treason trying to free Burleigh from the king’s oppressive control. He was killed, and Vi was forced into hiding.

When she’s given a chance to go back, she discovers Burleigh has run wild with grief. Vines and briars are crumbling the walls. Magic that once enriched the surrounding countryside has turned dark and deadly, twisting lush blooms into thorns, poisoning livestock and destroying crops. Burleigh’s very soul is crying out in pain.

Vi would do anything to help, and soon she finds herself walking the same deadly path as her father all those years before. Vi must decide how far she’s willing to go to save her house—before her house destroys everything she’s ever known.


This will be a spoiler free review.

My expectations were not met for this book. I don’t think they were exceedingly high, but this book just fell so flat. I thought the concept was really cool, hadn’t read anything else like it, but the execution was just lacking. I didn’t care about the main character, her journey, her fears, anything. In fact, I thought she was really annoying – her whole ‘I live for my house and will do anything for it’ was super tedious. She didn’t exist beyond what her father drilled into her head.

There’s being focused and there is being obsessed and Violet is obsessed. She sees nothing beyond the needs of her house, and it costs her everything. She actually made me angry that everything she does is never for her best interests.

Besides the overall concept, her friends were far more likable characters. And no, I’m not talking about Wyn – I didn’t like him. But the other two, the writer and the Princess (?), I enjoyed them and their relationship and how they interacted with Violet. I also liked the two adults in Violet’s life, who raised her during their exile from The House.

*I don’t have the book with me while writing this review, so forgive me.

Despite my lack of enjoyment for the story as a whole, I can admit that the writing was pretty, and I didn’t hate it. It was very atmospheric, and Laura does have a way with words. I was able to picture the world she created very easily, as well as the characters.

I could go on and on, but I’d have to change this review from spoiler free, to spoiler filled, so I’ll stop here. I didn’t read Laura’s debut, so I can’t say if this is better or not, but probably if you enjoyed, The Light Between Worlds, you should check out this release, out September 10, 2019.

 

August Wrap Up!

Well, I just counted and somehow, I read 10 books in August and I enjoyed every single one of them. I feel like there have been so many 4/4.5/5-star books this year and just so many good stories. Now, all of August’s books don’t fall under that high star rating, but I did enjoy each book that I read and definitely think that you should check them out if you get a chance!

I have reviews up for most of these, so I’m not going to go into much detail, but I will link each review, so you can check out my full thoughts there!


house of salt and sorrowsHouse of Salt and Sorrow – Erin A. Craig

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / Review / GR

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

Absolutely LOVED this book, and if you haven’t yet, you need you check it out!


36678876. sy475 The Last Hope – Krista & Becca Ritchie

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 / Review / GR

Sacrifice all you have to survive.

Imprisoned for weeks on an enemy starcraft, Franny, Court, and Mykal have sat with an unfathomable revelation. But as they fight to stay alive, escaping prison means trusting a young mysterious stranger. He knows everything about their lost histories, and when answers aren’t given freely, the bonded trio are forced to join a mission. One that will determine the fate of humanity.

The epic conclusion to The Raging Ones and you won’t want to miss it!


24951850. sy475 The Burning Shadow – Jennifer L. Armentrout

⭐️⭐️⭐️.75 / Review / GR

When Evelyn Dasher crossed paths with Luc, she was thrown headfirst into the world of the Lux―only to discover that she was already far more involved in their world than she ever suspected.

Because the Luxen aren’t the only ones with a hidden past. There’s a gap in Evie’s memory, lost months of her life and a lingering sense that something happened, something she can’t remember and nobody is willing to tell her. She needs to find out the truth about who she is―and who she was. But every answer she finds only brings up more questions.

Sexy aliens and non-stop action? You’re not going to want to miss the follow up to The Darkest Star


38330596The Storm Crow – Kalyn Josephson

⭐️⭐️⭐️ / Review / GR

In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.

That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.

But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.

Quick, easy read, and leaves you wanting the next book!


The Evil Queen (The Forest of Good and Evil, #1)The Evil Queen – Gena Showalter

⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 / Review / GR

With powers beyond her imagination or control, Everly returns to the land of her birth. There, she meets Roth Charmaine, the supposed Prince Charming. Their attraction is undeniable, but their relationship is doomed. As the prophecy unfolds, Everly faces one betrayal after another, and giving in to her dark side proves more tempting every day. Can she resist, or will she become the queen—and villain—she was born to be?

Definitely a unique take on Snow White and the Evil Queen!


37777083. sy475 Crown of Coral and Pearl – Mara Rutherford

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 / Review / GR

For generations, the princes of Ilara have married the most beautiful maidens from the ocean village of Varenia. But though every girl longs to be chosen as the next princess, the cost of becoming royalty is higher than any of them could ever imagine…

Absolutely loved this book more than I thought I would, and the wait for book 2 is already killing me. You should definitely check it out if you haven’t already!


I read 5 other books in August as well, and you can check out my Beach Reads – Wrap Up post to find out what those were! Make sure you check these books out!

 

Beach Reads: Weeks 1&2

img_5711I promised you this post – but I chose to postpone it until after my second trip because I knew I would read more books the second week. I also figured you wouldn’t want two almost identical posts! As for a little background, every year very close friends of my family invite us on their family vacation to the beach – to be honest, calling them “family friends” sounds wrong, we’re practically family with them at point! This year, my dad decided he wanted a second week at the beach, so only my immediate family (minus my brother and his girlfriend – they had to work) went back down to North Carolina. I got more reading done the second week, versus the third, which makes me really happy!

So, here it is! My Beach Reads Wrap Up! A full August Wrap Up is coming your way very shortly!


45043529Echoes Between Us – Katie McGarry

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / (ARC Finished 7/29/19) / Review / GR

I have a full review posted for this book already, linked above, so I won’t go into too much detail. I absolutely loved this book and it is my new favorite of Katie McGarry’s. I connected to it a lot…for someone who has legit nothing in common with the characters. It’s a definite must read, and a definite reread in my near future.

“A girl with nothing to live for and a boy with everything to lose–can they conquer their demons together?”


43744300American Royals – Katharine McGee

⭐️⭐️⭐️.75 / (ARC Finished 7/31/19) / Review / GR

This was such a fun read, and I instantly fell in love. I also have a full review posted for this, linked above, so make sure you check it out for my full thoughts! If you like forbidden romances and drama, and have a fascination with the British Monarchy, you’ll definitely want to check this out!

“The duty. The intrigue. The Crown. New York Times bestselling author Katharine McGee imagines an alternate version of the modern world, one where the glittering age of monarchies has not yet faded–and where love is still powerful enough to change the course of history.”


40024139Serpent & Dove – Shelby Mahurin

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / (ARC Finished 8/24/19) / Review / GR

I absolutely loved this book and already the wait for the second one is killing me. I’ve linked my full review above, so make sure you check it out! If you were a fan of Rowan and Aelin from Throne of Glass, you’ll most likely love Lou and Reid! It’s a definite must read!

“The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.”


40712557The Hidden Code – P.J. Hoover

⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 / (ARC Finished 8/25/19) / GR

If you want a book that reminds you of Indiana Jones or Lara Croft – look no further! A full review of this book is coming shortly, so keep an eye out for it! Overall, I really liked the book, but thought the ending was a bit rushed and a little convenient. I’m kind of hoping there’s a second book, because it would be interesting to see this group of characters go on another adventure.

“Now with the help of her uncle, her best friend, and another cute but not entirely trust-worthy guy, Hannah sets out to discover what happened to her parents and if the Code of Enoch is real.”


41716322A Treason of Thorns – Laura E. Weymouth

⭐️⭐️⭐️ / (ARC Finished 8/26/19) / GR

I didn’t love this book, nor did I hate it. There will be a full review up in the coming week. I thought the premise behind the story was super interesting and unique, but I kind of felt like the story lacked drive? I just think it fell flat and I didn’t really buy into the character motivations all that much. I was really looking forward to this, and I’m a bit bummed that it didn’t meet my expectations.

“Vi would do anything to help, and soon she finds herself walking the same deadly path as her father all those years before. Vi must decide how far she’s willing to go to save her house—before her house destroys everything she’s ever known.”


42281646. sy475 Tiger Queen – Annie Sullivan

⭐️⭐️⭐️.75 / (ARC Finished 8/27/19) / GR

Full review to come, so keep an eye out! I really enjoyed this book! It was a bit predictable, but I was engaged the entire way through! I enjoyed the characters, and actually was very rage-y with some of them. You really root for Kateri to earn her right to rule and her journey to get to her desire and right.

“From Annie Sullivan, author of A Touch of Gold, comes Tiger Queen, a sweeping YA fantasy adventure that tells the story of a fierce desert princess battling to save her kingdom. Fans of Rebel of the Sands and Meagan Spooner will devour this retelling of Frank Stockton’s famous short story, ‘The Lady, or the Tiger?'”


38362765. sy475 Shatter City – Scott Westerfeld

⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 / (ARC Finished 8/31/19) / GR

Again, full review will be coming shortly! I’m always down to go back to the world of the Uglies – hey Netflix, can we get a tv series? Please? But with that being said, I didn’t like this one as much. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s the second book in the series, and therefore suffers from middle book syndrome, or if too much time had passed since reading Imposters. It felt like everyone was just biding their time until the big showdown and it took me a few days to actually finish this book.

“As the city comes under a catastrophic attack, Frey must leave the shadows and enter the chaos of warfare – because there is no other way for her to find her missing sister and have her revenge against her murderous father.”


Keep an eye out this week for my August Wrap Up post, because, there are still quite a few books I read in August that aren’t on this list!

 

August Book Haul

This post is going to be on the short side, because today (the day I’m writing this) has been a day. I’m going to preface the Haul section of the post with a tiny little life update. I need to write this because every time I think about it I cry. I know the day is coming, and I hate it.

Today started on a high – a friend’s wedding was this evening! It was beautiful, she was gorgeous, overall, I had a good time. But before I left for the wedding, I thought I was going to lose my dog.

That kind of puts a damper on a good mood. I’ve talked about him before on this blog, but my 80lb black lab has something called Laryngeal Paralysis – basically his throat doesn’t work properly which causes breathing issues. He gets too excited, he can’t breathe, and then he freaks himself because he can’t breathe and it can take meds, a fan, and time to calm him down.

I was on vacation with my parents last week, so my dog was staying with a family member (who he always stays with when we go places) and for whatever reason the drive back seriously stressed out my dog.

By the time my mom got him back to the house, I thought we were going to lose him in the yard. He could barely support his own weight, we had to carry him into the house on a towel. It then took hours for him to even remotely get back to his current normal. I nearly didn’t go to the wedding because I thought my dog was going to die tonight. I’ve never seen him that distressed, and I could not stop crying.

I don’t write this to distress any of you, but as a sort of catharsis of the emotions that continue to threaten to drown me. He’s exhausted now, but breathing normally, eating and drinking. I’m thankful that today wasn’t worse and I’m glad I managed to get through the wedding without breaking down in tears. It was hard leaving my house not knowing what I was going to be coming back to. Thankfully I came back to an exhausted but much better dog.

Anyways, let’s get into this small haul!


39679076House of Salt and Sorrows – Erin A. Craig

2 Copies: Reg. Hardcover + OwlCrate’s Exclusive Cover

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/ Review / GR

Absolutely loved this book! You don’t want to miss it!

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.


41082072Before the Broken Star – Emily R. King

Reg. Hardcover

GR

Not gonna lie, I mainly bought this due to the absolutely gorgeous naked hardcover under the dust jacket.

Everley Donovan is living on borrowed time. The lone survivor of her family’s unexplained assassination, she was saved by an ingeniously crafted clockwork heart. But the time she was given won’t last forever. Now, every tick-tock reminds her how fragile her existence is and hastens her quest to expose Killian Markham, the navy admiral who shattered her world and left her for dead. But Everley’s hunt for justice will be a long and hard-won voyage.

Her journey takes her to a penal colony on a cursed isle, where she will be married off and charged to build the new world. It is here, and beyond, that hidden realms hide, treasures are unearthed, her family secrets are buried, and young love will test the strength of her makeshift heart. When Everley discovers Markham may not be who he seems, her pursuit for truth is bound to his redemption, her tragic history, and her astonishing destiny.


Chosen Champion (Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles #2)Chosen Champion – Elise Kova

Paperback

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/ Review / GR

I finally bought myself a finished copy of this book, and I cannot wait to sit it on my shelf next to my other books in the Air Awakens world!

Vi Solaris is on the eve of getting everything she’s ever wanted—her family, her home, her throne—and to save the world she’s going to have to give it all up.

The Empire sees her as their Crown Princess, returning at long last. But Vi only sees visions of fate guiding her to the world’s gruesome end. Across the sea is a man who holds the keys to deciphering her premonitions and thwarting the ancient evil ravaging their world. But to get to him, Vi will have to contend with enemies of the crown, romance she didn’t expect, sorcerer pirates, and a betrayal she never saw coming.

She will learn the hard way that some evils never die… They only bide their time…


43383182. sx318 The Bridge Kingdom – Danielle L. Jensen

Paperback

GR

I’ve been really interested in this ever since I saw the Audible announcement. I don’t know why I never bought the audiobook, but I’m really excited to dive into this, hopefully int the near future!

What if you fell in love with the one person you’d sworn to destroy? 

Lara has only one thought for her husband on their wedding day: I will bring your kingdom to its knees. A princess trained from childhood to be a lethal spy, Lara knows that the Bridge Kingdom represents both legendary evil – and legendary promise. The only route through a storm-ravaged world, the Bridge Kingdom controls all trade and travel between lands, allowing its ruler to enrich himself and deprive his enemies, including Lara’s homeland. So when she is sent as a bride under the guise of fulfilling a treaty of peace, Lara is prepared to do whatever it takes to fracture the defenses of the impenetrable Bridge Kingdom.

But as she infiltrates her new home – a lush paradise surrounded by tempest seas – and comes to know her new husband, Aren, Lara begins to question where the true evil resides. Around her, she sees a kingdom fighting for survival, and in Aren, a man fiercely protective of his people. As her mission drives her to deeper understanding of the fight to possess the bridge, Lara finds the simmering attraction between her and Aren impossible to ignore.

Her goal nearly within reach, Lara will have to decide her own fate: Will she be the destroyer of a king or the savior of her people?


Okay, I guess I lied about the shortness, but words just started flowing, I guess. I have two Wrap Up posts coming up this week so stay tuned for those!