Book Review: Seven Faceless Saints (Seven Faceless Saints #1)

Title: Seven Faceless Saints

Author: M.K. Lobb

Pub. Date: February 7, 2023

Pages: 400

Pub: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Genre: LGBT YA Fantasy Mystery

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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In the city of Ombrazia, saints and their disciples rule with terrifying and unjust power, playing favorites while the unfavored struggle to survive.

After her father’s murder at the hands of the Ombrazian military, Rossana Lacertosa is willing to do whatever it takes to dismantle the corrupt system—tapping into her powers as a disciple of Patience, joining the rebellion, and facing the boy who broke her heart. As the youngest captain in the history of Palazzo security, Damian Venturi is expected to be ruthless and strong, and to serve the saints with unquestioning devotion. But three years spent fighting in a never-ending war have left him with deeper scars than he wants to admit… and a fear of confronting the girl he left behind.

Now a murderer stalks Ombrazia’s citizens. As the body count climbs, the Palazzo is all too happy to look the other way—that is, until a disciple becomes the newest victim. With every lead turning into a dead end, Damian and Roz must team up to find the killer, even if it means digging up buried emotions. As they dive into the underbelly of Ombrazia, the pair will discover something more sinister—and far less holy. With darkness closing in and time running out, will they be able to save the city from an evil so powerful that it threatens to destroy everything in its path?

Discover what’s lurking in the shadows in this dark fantasy debut with a murder-mystery twist, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kerri Maniscalco.
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Book Review: Caribbean Competitors (Simona Island #2)

Title: Caribbean Competitors

Author: Poppy Minnix

Pub. Date: November 22, 2022

Pages: 272

Pub: City Owl Press

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Xiamara Nivar and Apollo Fischer had the perfect childhood friendship, leading her to believe they’d transition to soulmate-status seamlessly.

She couldn’t have been more wrong.

When it came to a more-than-friends relationship, they were super cringe. No wonder Xia didn’t believe him when he promised to come back for her the night before he left for college. But still, she waited.

After seven years of foolishly hoping he’d keep his word, Xia has put all that behind her. She’s got a career, a cast of colorful comrades, and a competitive streak bigger than the Caribbean Ocean. Winning this year’s Moss Monster Meet will be a cinch—until Apollo returns to the small island of Simona.

Not only is she a stumbling, stuttering, shipwreck of a human whenever he’s present, but the unthinkable has happened. Apollo plans to compete in the race, threatening the three-year winning streak that will earn her the coveted title of Moss Boss.

When they are thrust together, Xia can’t maintain her composure—and Apollo knows it. He isn’t above using it against her, either.

With the finish line in sight, Xia has one burning question: is it the race Apollo wants to win, or her heart?
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Book Review: A Tournament of Crowns (A Trial of Sorcerers #3)

Title: A Tournament of Crowns

Author: Elise Kova

Pub. Date: February 24, 2023

Pages: 428

Pub: Silver Wing Press

Genre: YA Fantasy Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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A Royal Tournament. Thrilling Magic. Deadly Mysteries. Slow-Burn Romance.

Last night, Eira killed a man.

However justified her actions were, many now regard her as a cold-blooded murderer and a heretic who extinguished their hope. But there’s no time to explain herself. She barely has a chance to wash the blood off her hands before the Tournament of Five Kingdoms begins.

Sequestered with the other champions for the duration of the tournament, Eira must now navigate the games, her competition, the enemies who hunt her head, and — somehow worse than all the rest — being stuck in close quarters with the man who broke her heart.

All is fair in love and magical tournaments, and Eira is ready for the fight of her life.

Get ready for twists you never saw coming in A Tournament of Crowns. This series is perfect for readers who enjoy young adult, epic fantasy full of elemental magic, slow-burn romance, found family, and battles for the futures of kingdoms set in a world you’ll never want to leave.

Don’t miss a single book in the A Trial of Sorcerers series. Readers should start with A Trial of Sorcerers, and then A Hunt of Shadows, before reading A Tournament of Crowns.

Continue reading “Book Review: A Tournament of Crowns (A Trial of Sorcerers #3)”

Book Review: A Light in the Flame (Flesh and Fire #2)

Title: A Light in the Flame

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Pub. Date: November 15, 2022

Pages: 608

Pub: Blue Box Press

Genre: NA Fantasy Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Goodreads


From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes book two in her Flesh and Fire series…

The only one who can save Sera now is the one she spent her life planning to kill.


The truth about Sera’s plan is out, shattering the fragile trust forged between her and Nyktos. Surrounded by those distrustful of her, all Sera has is her duty. She will do anything to end Kolis, the false King of Gods, and his tyrannical rule of Iliseeum, thus stopping the threat he poses to the mortal realm.

Nyktos has a plan, though, and as they work together, the last thing they need is the undeniable, scorching passion that continues to ignite between them. Sera cannot afford to fall for the tortured Primal, not when a life no longer bound to a destiny she never wanted is more attainable than ever. But memories of their shared pleasure and unrivaled desire are a siren’s call impossible to resist.

And as Sera begins to realize that she wants to be more than a Consort in name only, the danger surrounding them intensifies. The attacks on the Shadowlands are increasing, and when Kolis summons them to Court, a whole new risk becomes apparent. The Primal power of Life is growing inside her, pushing her closer to the end of her Culling. And without Nyktos’s love—an emotion he’s incapable of feeling—she won’t survive her Ascension. That is if she even makes it to her Ascension and Kolis doesn’t get to her first. Because time is running out. For both her and the realms.

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Book Review: The Devil You Know (Hotel Heat #1)

Title: The Devil You Know

Author: Nicole Northwood

Pub. Date: August 3, 2022

Pages: 263

Pub: Midnight Tide Publishing

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

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In the Underworld, nothing ever changes.

When the demon of Lust, Cam, decides he needs an overhaul in his ‘life after death’, he leaves the Second Circle of Hell to run an indulgent hotel and club in the heart of New York City. As his lover, Lucifer, bides his time to create a bargain to have Cam return, Cam is permitted to explore the human world, but not without being led into temptation. A group of demon hunters disguised as police set out to send Cam back into the fires of Hell by getting him lost in desire for one of their own, but things very quickly take an unexpected turn—Cam’s fallen in love with the Hedonism Hotel’s night manager, Giselle, and he won’t leave Earth so easily.

Within the liminal space of hotels and their surroundings, paranormal beings and the humans who love them travel together on intimate journeys of self discovery while learning to trust one another with the things that make them unique. Each of the seven stories in the Hotel Heat series takes the reader through a steamy, sensual, and sometimes risqué, romance with new main characters while featuring fan-favorite major and minor characters who have appeared in earlier novels, and will continue to appear in upcoming books.

Content warnings can be found on Nicole Northwood’s website.


This will be a spoiler free review. Thank you to the author for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I’ve read a couple of Nicole’s other books and have enjoyed them – so my interest was piqued with this one.

I mean, demons, hell, spice…

I’m always down for a spicy romance, and this was pleasantly spicy and the characters were fun, and the plot was pretty strong. I really enjoyed Cam and he kind of gave me Lucifer (from the show) vibes.

I loved the way the book started – him in hell, him in bed with Lucifer, him wishing for something more…it painted a really clear picture of who is was and who he desperately wanted to be.

Once Earth side, Cam is a whole lot of fun, and disarmingly sexy – it’s honestly so attractive.

I don’t know what it is about creatures/demons from hell that is so damn enticing – but I’m sold every time. And with Cam being the Demon of Lust – I mean…the spice doesn’t disappoint.

And then there’s Giselle. This book gives a sprinkling of Boss/Employee spice – and I feel like it’s a trope I shouldn’t love, but something about that power dynamic…

I was a little surprised by the twist her character has, I really wasn’t expecting it. I loved it for the drama, because she definitely brings out the drama in Cam.

The two of them together are spicy, they’re sweet and it’s so wonderful the different sides they bring out in each other.

As for the plot apart from the spice between Cam and Giselle – I wasn’t ready. I’m like 95% certain I never actually read the synopsis for this. I’m pretty sure I just saw Nicole tweeting about it along the lines of – demons, Lucifer, demon of Lust, spice and romance (maybe not in that order, or those specific words) and I was sold. Tell me know more, I will read the book. So, I really had no idea what the plot was going to be, and there were a few things that caught me by surprise.

Also, for how much I love sexy, confident Cam, mopey Cam is just as enjoyable and made me just want to hug him.

If you’re looking for something a fun, with a bit of mystery twist and some spicy demonic romance – maybe consider checking this out. If you enjoy the show Lucifer – then you’re going to enjoy this.

Book Review: The Whispering Dark

Title: The Whispering Dark

Author: Kelly Andrew

Pub. Date: October 18, 2022

Pages: 368

Pub: Scholastic Press

Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Goodreads


The Raven Boys meets Ninth House in the most exciting debut of 2022 — a dark, atmospheric fantasy about a Deaf college student with a peculiar connection to the afterlife.

Delaney Meyers-Petrov is tired of being seen as fragile just because she’s Deaf. So when she’s accepted into a prestigious program at Godbole University that trains students to slip between parallel worlds, she’s excited for the chance to prove herself. But her semester gets off to a rocky start as she faces professors who won’t accommodate her disability, and a pretentious upperclassman fascinated by Delaney’s unusual talents.

Colton Price died when he was nine years old. Quite impossibly, he woke several weeks later at the feet of a green-eyed little girl. Now, twelve years later, Delaney Meyers-Petrov has stumbled back into his orbit, but Colton’s been ordered to keep far away from the new girl… and the voices she hears calling to her from the shadows.

Delaney wants to keep her distance from Colton — she seems to be the only person on campus who finds him more arrogant than charming — yet after a Godbole student turns up dead, she and Colton are forced to form a tenuous alliance, plummeting down a rabbit-hole of deeply buried university secrets. But Delaney and Colton discover the cost of opening the doors between worlds when they find themselves up against something old and nameless, an enemy they need to destroy before it tears them — and their forbidden partnership — apart.
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Book Review: Defend the Dawn (Defy the Night #2)

Title: Defend the Dawn

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Pub. Date: September 13, 2022

Pages: 496

Pub: Bloomsbury Children’s

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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To save their kingdom, they must embark on a dangerous journey…

The kingdom of Kandala narrowly avoided catastrophe, but the embers of revolution still simmer. While King Harristan seeks a new way to lead, Tessa and Prince Corrick attempt to foster unity between rebels and royals.

But the consuls who control the Moonflower will not back down, and Corrick realizes he must find a new source for the lifesaving Elixir.

When an emissary from the neighboring kingdom of Ostriary arrives with an intriguing offer, Tessa and Corrick set out on an uncertain journey as they attempt to mend their own fractured relationship.

This could be their only chance to keep the peace and bring relief to the people of Kandala, but danger strikes during the journey to Ostriary, and no one is who they seemed to be. . .
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Book Review: Forging Silver into Stars (Forging Silver into Stars #1)

Title: Forging Silver into Stars

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Pub. Date: May 3, 2022

Pages: 560

Pub: Bloomsbury YA

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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When ancient magic tests a newfound love, a dark fate beckons . . .

Magic has been banished in the land of Syhl Shallow for as long as best friends Jax and Callyn can remember. They once loved the stories of the powerful magesmiths and mythical scravers who could conjure fire or control ice, but now they’ve learned that magic only leads to danger: magic is what killed Callyn’s parents, leaving her alone to raise her younger sister. Magic never helped Jax, whose leg was crushed in an accident that his father has been punishing him for ever since. Magic won’t save either of them when the tax collector comes calling, threatening to take their homes if they can’t pay what they owe.

Meanwhile, Jax and Callyn are astonished to learn magic has returned to Syhl Shallow — in the form of a magesmith who’s now married to their queen. Now, the people of Syhl Shallow are expected to allow dangerous magic in their midst, and no one is happy about it.

When a stranger rides into town offering Jax and Callyn silver in exchange for holding secret messages for an anti-magic faction, the choice is obvious — even if it means they may be aiding in a plot to destroy their new king. It’s a risk they’re both willing to take. That is, until another visitor arrives: handsome Lord Tycho, the King’s Courier, the man who’s been tasked with discovering who’s conspiring against the throne.

Suddenly, Jax and Callyn find themselves embroiled in a world of shifting alliances, dangerous flirtations, and ancient magic . . . where even the deepest loyalties will be tested.

This will be a spoiler free review. Thank you so much to Brigid for gifting me an ARC to read, and thank you to Bloomsbury and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for a honest review.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve read Forging Silver into Stars – I probably should have written my review sooner, but I literally had no words. My whole being was just this –

Read Read The Book GIF - Read Read The Book Melissa Mc Carthy - Discover &  Share GIFs

No, seriously. Anytime I tried to articulate my feelings after finishing, I just wanted to scream and do that wiggle thing we all do when we’re giddy and in love with a book. So many times while reading, I had a stupid smile on my face because I was just so in love and so utterly invested in what was going on. I wasn’t bored for a single moment reading this book – and when I go to the end, all I wanted was the next one.

My first message to Brigid after finishing was legit –

If you’ve been around for a while, then you know that I fell in love with Tycho in A Heart So Fierce and Broken and would die to protect him. He’s baby. Well, it’s been four years since the events of A Vow so Bold and Deadly and Tycho is still baby, but he’s 19 now, and things have changed. Tensions between Syhl Shallow and Emberfall are starting to boil over, lines are being crossed and chances taken. Efforts to bring the two nations together are difficult and are being undermined at every turn.

Tycho is struggling to truly find his place while staying true and loyal to those he cares about. His arc in this book is so good – I am so in love with the direction that Brigid takes in this book. And there’s this scene (which leads to a handful of other scenes) that she didn’t plan for, and it’s 100% one of my favorite moments in the whole book. I could’ve never guessed it would pan out that way, but I’m so glad it did.

There are some slice of life scenes that absolutely melted my heart and I thoroughly enjoyed that Brigid included them. With everything that happens in this book – and it’s a lot – I liked the slightly slower moments, the more emotional ones. With tensions so high and the repercussions potentially dangerous and deadly, seeing these characters just get to breathe and feel…

Y’all there is one moment with Grey that nearly broke me. The way I saw it in my head, the way it came to life – nope, can’t talk about it because I’ll get all caught up in the feels and then I’m just going to have to re-read the book again.

*deep breaths*

I needed to gather myself for a moment lol.

Moving past the softer moments, let’s talk about Jax and Callyn – the main two new editions to this world and Tycho’s life. I loved them. Well, I loved Jax from the beginning. I like Callyn, but due to her history and general unease, she spends a lot of this book making choices that made me want to grab her by the shoulders and shake her. Hard. On one hand, I can wholly understand why she made the choices she made, and I’ll back her every time. On the other hand, she was a dummy lol.  

I just loved how natural it all felt – the friendship between Jax and Callyn – and her little sister Nora (who is utterly delightful and I love her – spicy romances ftw) was just so effortless. I didn’t need convincing that their friendship and feelings were genuine. I didn’t need convincing that the path their relationship takes wasn’t organic. Again, tensions are high, loyalties are being tested and choices have to be made.

I think it was inevitable for things to change, and the way Brigid wrote it was perfect. She executed this all so flawlessly and I loved every minute of it. The introduction of Tycho into the mix just leaves you wanting more and again, loving every minute of it.

And the way Callyn and Tycho describe seeing Tycho the first time is so perfect and explains their personalities so well.

As for Alek – another new character we get to meet – I’m honestly lowkey conflicted. In any other fantasy book, I’d probably consider him the protagonist and root for him. I don’t think he’s necessarily a bad guy, but he goes about things the wrong way. It’ll be interesting to see where Brigid takes his character in the next books.

From the moment this book started – I was hooked. I somehow managed to not inhale it (I blame work and having to sleep at reasonable hours). And while I would have loved to read it in one go, I did like taking my time. The wait for book 2 is already going to be long as shit, as it is. I think it took me a little over two weeks to read the whole thing, and honestly it was perfect. I’m already planning on re-reading it again before release, because I loved it that much.

Brigid put so much into this book and it’s nonstop. From the first page to the last, so much happens and the ending leaves you utterly desperate for more. I’m still kind of dying waiting and wanting more. The ending is a whirlwind of omfg moments that leave you on the edge of your seat wanting more.

I cannot recommend this book enough. If you loved the Cursebreakers Series – Rhen, Grey, Lia Mara, Harper and Co. then you’re going to absolutely going to love this next installment. It’s perfectly crafted, the vibe and tone of it is everything I want in an Upper YA fantasy book. The dash of spice Brigid includes is *chef’s kiss* perfect. I loved this book so much and I’m surprised I got through this review. I’m still very much a giddy excited mess that just wants to throw this book at everyone and yell that them to read it. Seriously, get your pre-orders in and dive into this book as soon as you can. You’re going to love it, and then be left desperate for more.

Book Review: The War of Two Queens (Blood and Ash #4)

Title: The War of Two Queens

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Pub. Date: March 14, 2022

Pages: 628

Pub: Blue Box Press

Genre: NA Fantasy Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Goodreads


From the desperation of golden crowns…

Casteel Da’Neer knows all too well that very few are as cunning or vicious as the Blood Queen, but no one, not even him, could’ve prepared for the staggering revelations. The magnitude of what the Blood Queen has done is almost unthinkable.

And born of mortal flesh…

Nothing will stop Poppy from freeing her King and destroying everything the Blood Crown stands for. With the strength of the Primal of Life’s guards behind her, and the support of the wolven, Poppy must convince the Atlantian generals to make war her way—because there can be no retreat this time. Not if she has any hope of building a future where both kingdoms can reside in peace.

A great primal power rises…

Together, Poppy and Casteel must embrace traditions old and new to safeguard those they hold dear—to protect those who cannot defend themselves. But war is only the beginning. Ancient primal powers have already stirred, revealing the horror of what began eons ago. To end what the Blood Queen has begun, Poppy might have to become what she has been prophesied to be—what she fears the most.

As the Harbinger of Death and Destruction.
Continue reading “Book Review: The War of Two Queens (Blood and Ash #4)”