Tuesday, April 25, 2023

🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷 ARC Audiobook #Review of Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

Title: The Fourth Wing
Series: The Empyrean #1
Author: Rebecca Yarros
Format: Audiobook
Narrated by: Rebecca Soler
Published: May 2, 2023 by Entangled Publishing, LLC (Red Tower Books)
ISBN: 9781649374042
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Reviewer: Crystal
Source: NetGalley
Rating:  5/5
Enter the brutal and elite world of a war college for dragon riders from USA Today bestselling author Rebecca Yarros

Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general—also known as her tough-as-talons mother—has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.
But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, death is only a heartbeat away...because dragons don’t bond to “fragile” humans. They incinerate them.

With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. The rest would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter—like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.

She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise.

Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom's protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise. Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.

Friends, enemies, lovers. Everyone at Basgiath War College has an agenda—because once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die.

Crystal’s Thoughts

“Are you going to die a scribe? Or live as a rider?”

Welcome to Basgiath War College, where only the toughest survive the trials to become a dragon rider, and even then, your life is not guaranteed. Violet Sorrengail always thought that she would follow in her late father’s footsteps as a scribe for the realm, but when she is set to enter the Scribe Quadrant, she finds out that her mother, General Sorrengail, has other plans for her. Thrust into the Riders Quadrant where it’s fight or die, Violet knows that her size and frail health automatically put her at a disadvantage, but her name just may put an even bigger of a target on her back. The only person she can trust is her childhood friend, Dain, a second-year squad leader.  But when he can’t see past her faults, she begins to question their relationship, especially when wing leader Xaden Riorson, a man that should want her dead, seems to be the only one who truly sees her. When danger escalates outside the borders though, Violet wonders at the truth her and her fellow cadets are being taught. Is leadership hiding something, and did her father somehow know what it was before his death? Violet finds that she can’t trust anyone in this deadly game of survival.

Monday, April 24, 2023

🍷🍷🍷🍷.5 ARC #Review of The Stolen Throne by Abigail Owen

Title: The Stolen Throne
Series: Dominions #2
Author: Abigail Owen 
Format: 460 pages, ebook
Publication: May 2, 2023
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 
Source: NetGalley
Reviewer: Crystal
Rating: 4.5/5
My twin sister is the true queen of Aryd. She survives, hiding and clinging to life in the desert, while I reign as the false queen alongside the monstrous King Eidolon. There’s only one escape from this gilded prison: Reven. My Shadowraith. My heart. Only the shadows that he struggles to control are growing more sinister, more powerful.

It’s just a matter of time before they turn on him…and on me.

Even escape doesn’t mean true freedom, though, when we’re still on the run from Eidolon’s unstoppable armies. And when we discover there’s a traitor among us, I have no choice…I must become the queen I was never meant to be.

Because as one evil hunts me, the other loves me more than himself.

And my fate lies with both.

Crystal’s Thoughts:

“The taste of him, the feel of him, is like coming home.”

The Stolen Throne is the continuation of the spellbinding tale of twin sisters, one meant to rule, and one meant to stand in, a nefarious king set on destruction, and a shadow who was never meant to love. Following the events of The Lair’s Crown, Meren finds herself the captive of King Eidolon and once again posing as the Queen of Aryd. How much longer can she pull it off though before her sister’s husband demands more than she is willing to give? Eidolon is no fool. Meren knows that she just needs to bide her time until her Shadowraith finds her, or until she can find a way out herself. Escape turns out to be the least of her problems though when histories are rewritten, truths are revealed, treachery abounds, and lives are at stake. Meren must reach deep to find the power and the will inside her if she hopes to stop Eidolon and save those she loves, including her Shadowraith. 

Friday, April 21, 2023

🍷🍷🍷🍷 #Review of From the Grave by Kresley Cole

Title: From the Grave
Series:  The Arcana Chronicles #6
Author: Kresley Cole
Format: 356 pages, Kindle Edition
Published: April 18, 2023
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Reviewer: Crystal
Source: Author
Rating: 4 out of 5
Kresley Cole’s New York Times bestselling Arcana Chronicles series comes to a spectacular and fiery conclusion in this final installment.

When even the gods hold their breath . . .

To defeat the Emperor and Fortune, Evie, the great Empress of Arcana, must repair her bond with Death, despite the earth-shattering developments between them.

And danger lurks in every shadow . . .

Their allies—a sea witch, a band of roving warriors, and more than a couple of rogues—overcome terrifying obstacles to help them. But when Jack makes a shocking discovery, the fallout threatens to tear their alliance apart.

One girl could deliver salvation—or doom.

If the Empress and her friends can remain united, will their powers be enough to defeat a catastrophic curse on the world, or will hellfire reign forever? The end looms for us all until the best hand wins. . . .

Crystal's Thoughts:

"I was the vines. I was the trees. I was the very earth. Motherfucking Earth."

Kresley Cole's The Arcana Chronicles comes to a stunning conclusion five years in the making, and it was one hell of a ride!

Thursday, April 20, 2023

🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷 #Review of Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross

Title: Divine Rivals
Series: Letters of Enchantment #1
Author: Rebecca Ross
Format: 368 pages, Hardcover
Published: April 4, 2023
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 
Reviewer: Crystal
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5
When two young rival journalists find love through a magical connection, they must face the depths of hell, in a war among gods, to seal their fate forever.

After centuries of sleep, the gods are warring again. But eighteen-year-old Iris Winnow just wants to hold her family together. Her mother is suffering from addiction and her brother is missing from the front lines. Her best bet is to win the columnist promotion at the Oath Gazette.

To combat her worries, Iris writes letters to her brother and slips them beneath her wardrobe door, where they vanish—into the hands of Roman Kitt, her cold and handsome rival at the paper. When he anonymously writes Iris back, the two of them forge a connection that will follow Iris all the way to the front lines of battle: for her brother, the fate of mankind, and love.

Shadow and Bone meets Lore in Rebecca Ross's Divine Rivals, an epic enemies-to-lovers fantasy novel filled with hope and heartbreak, and the unparalleled power of love.

Crystal's Thoughts:

"The two of you have found each other against great odds. And if this is your one and only night with him, then savor it."

Divine Rivals is a beautiful tale of magic and mystery sure to sweep readers away with a journey of finding hope and love in the most desolate of places. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Read an #Excerpt from The Secret Service of Tea and Treason by India Holton

Featuring her signature blend of witty humor, steamy enemies-to-lovers romance, and whimsically outrageous magic, India Holton’s Dangerous Damsels novels continue to charm historical romance readers and fantasy fans alike.

About the Book

The Secret Service of Tea and Treason
Dangerous Damsels #3
by India Holton
Two rival spies must brave pirates, witches, and fake matrimony to save the Queen.

Known as Agent A, Alice is the top operative within the Agency of Undercover Note Takers, a secret government intelligence group that is fortunately better at espionage than at naming itself. From managing deceptive witches to bored aristocratic ladies, nothing is beyond Alice’s capabilities. She has a steely composure and a plan always up her sleeve (alongside a dagger and an embroidered handkerchief). So when rumors of an assassination plot begin to circulate, she’s immediately assigned to the case.

But she’s not working alone. Daniel Bixby, otherwise known as Agent B and Alice’s greatest rival, is given the most challenging undercover assignment of his life— pretending to be Alice’s husband. Together they will assume the identity of a married couple, infiltrate a pirate house party, and foil their unpatriotic plans.

Determined to remain consummate professionals, Alice and Daniel must ignore the growing attraction between them, especially since acting on it might prove more dangerous than their target.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷 ARC #Review of Both Feet in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Title: Both Feet in the Grave
Series: Night Huntress #8
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Format: 348 pages, Kindle Edition
Published: April 18, 2023 by NYLA
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 
Reviewer: Crystal
Source: Author/NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5
If you thought you learned more about the dangerous and sexy alpha vampire, Bones, in The Other Half of the Grave, you haven't seen anything yet...

This is Bones, in his own words…

Two hundred years of bounty hunting made Bones the best at what he does, yet it's still taken him four long years to find Cat, the half vampire now known as the "Red Reaper." There's a price on Cat's head, and not even her job as a secret government agent can save her. Only Bones can. But has time hardened Bones too much to love again? Or will his passion for Cat burn through every obstacle—alive, undead, or otherwise—between them?

Crystal's Thoughts:

"Halo, Kitten." ~ Bones

Just when you thought that Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series couldn't get any better, she releases Bones's point-of-view of One Foot in the Grave. I won't say that I wasn't primarily looking forward to this story to read Bones's perspective of Chapter 32....because I definitely was! Jeaniene delivered that, and so much more with this impressive installment. 

Monday, April 17, 2023

Read an #Excerpt from Jasmine and Jake Rock the Boat by Sonya Lalli

Sonya Lalli, author of A Holly Jolly Diwali, a delightful romance that combined the magic of the South Asian holiday Diwali with the wonder of falling in love, returns this Spring with a new unforgettable rom-com. 

About the Book

Jasmine and Jake Rock the Boat
by Sonya Lalli
Format 336 pages, Paperback
Published April 18, 2023 by Berkley
ISBN 9780593440650 
An impulsive decision to join an Alaskan cruise getaway brings the chance for an onboard romance in this new enemies-to-lovers romance from the author of A Holly Jolly Diwali.

Jasmine Randhawa likes everyone to think she has it all—great job, perfect Seattle apartment, and a handsome boyfriend. But she’s not as confident or successful as she seems, and her relationship is at a breaking point.  

When Jasmine finds herself single and tagging along on her parents’ vacation, she’s not sure her life can get any farther off course. It's a nightmare for someone who's been so fiercely independent to find herself on a cruise full of family friends who’ve judged her since childhood. Things only get worse once the ship leaves the harbor and she realizes that this is a seniors’ cruise, and the only other person under fifty on the entire boat is her childhood acquaintance, cocky and successful Jake Dhillon.

Jasmine and Jake clash right away, with Jasmine smarting over how their South Asian community puts him on a pedestal as the perfect Indian son, whereas her reputation as a troublemaker precedes her. Except they can’t avoid each other forever during the ten-day cruise, and they soon recognize a surprising number of similarities, especially in how many secrets they’re keeping hidden from their families. Their restlessness seems to disappear whenever they’re together, but is this relationship strong enough to last on land?

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷 ARC #Review of Bewitched by Laura Thalassa

Title: Bewitched 
Series: Bewitched #1
Author: Laura Thalassa 
Format: 464 pages, Paperback
Expected publication: April 18, 2023 by Bloom Books
ISBN: 9781728283067 (ISBN10: 172828306X)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 
Reviewer: Crystal
Source: Publisher (PB) & NetGalley (EB)
Rating: 5/5
Come to me, Empress …

At age twenty, Selene Bowers desperately hopes to be accepted into Henbane Coven, an academy for young witches. Since one of the requirements for entry is to connect with her powers via a quest through the wilderness, Selene books a trip to South America. When a nefarious supernatural force tries to drag her plane from the sky, Selene's magic awakens to save her life―at a cost. Using her powers devours her memories, one by one.

Worse, when Selene braves the jungle and discovers the source of the attack, she finds herself awakening an ancient evil, Memnon the Cursed, who mistakes Selene for his long-dead wife. The wife who betrayed him. Selene manages to escape and begin her studies at Henbane, but when Memnon turns up at the coven and witches are found dead across campus, Selene becomes entangled in a dangerous plot. Accused of the murders on the basis of her memory loss, Selene must rely on Memnon's help for answers―and his plans for her will change everything.

Crystal's Thoughts:

"You are the only goddess I pray to," Memnon murmurs, pressing a kiss to my inner thigh. "You're a f*cking vengeful one too."

Brimming with magic and mayhem, Bewitched is a can't-put-down, sizzling hot paranormal romance that you don't want to miss! 

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Read an #Excerpt from Destined for Me: A Come Back for Me/Say You’ll Stay Crossover Novella by Corinne Michaels

Destined for Me, an all-new emotional Come Back for Me/Say You’ll Stay Crossover novella from New York Times bestselling author Corinne Michaels is available now!

About the Book

Destined for Me: A Come Back for Me/Say You’ll Stay Crossover Novella
by Corinne Michaels
Format 121 pages, Kindle Edition
Published April 11, 2023 by 1001 Dark Nights Press
From New York Times Bestselling author Corinne Michaels comes an Arrowood-Hennington crossover next generation novella.

No one makes my blood boil like Cayden Hennington.
When I finished second in my class in law school, he finished first.
We interned at the same firm—he got hired while I didn’t.
Now we’re opposing counsel on my first big solo case, and I refuse to lose to him.

I will not think about the way his lips taste or how he makes my heart race. I won’t dream of that night we argued until our clothes came off.

That night is irrelevant because I am over him.
(I’m also lying to myself).

However, we’re both professionals, right?
One stupid drink is all it takes after six hours of intense negotiations to find myself right back in his arms and in a world of trouble.

There is a thin line between love and hate, and we are destined to choose a side.

*Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you'll enjoy each one as much as we do.*

Monday, April 10, 2023

Read an #Excerpt from The Cuban Heiress by Chanel Cleeton

This spring, New York Times bestselling author Chanel Cleeton returns with her latest historical novel exploring a little-remembered event set against the backdrop of Cuban history, THE CUBAN HEIRESS.


About the Book

The Cuban Heiress
by Chanel Cleeton

Format 336 pages, Paperback
Published April 11, 2023 by Berkley
ISBN 9780593440483
In 1934, a luxury cruise becomes a fight for survival as two women’s pasts collide on a round-trip voyage from New York to Havana in New York Times bestselling author Chanel Cleeton's page-turning new novel inspired by the true story of the SS Morro Castle.

New York heiress Catherine Dohan seemingly has it all. There’s only one problem. It’s a lie. As soon as the Morro Castle leaves port, Catherine’s past returns with a vengeance and threatens her life. Joining forces with a charismatic jewel thief, Catherine must discover who wants her dead—and why.

Elena Palacio is a dead woman. Or so everyone thinks. After a devastating betrayal left her penniless and on the run, Elena’s journey on the Morro Castle is her last hope. Steeped in secrecy and a burning desire for revenge, her return to Havana is a chance to right the wrong that has been done to her—and her prey is on the ship.

As danger swirls aboard the Morro Castle and their fates intertwine, Elena and Catherine must risk everything to see justice served once and for all.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

🍷🍷 #Review of That Sik Luv by Jescie Hall

Title: That Sik Luv
Author: Jescie Hall
Format: 496 pages, Kindle Edition
Published: March 3, 2023
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Reviewer: Crystal
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Rating: 2 out of 5 
Fornication is a sin.

As it reads, we should flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.

They teach us that these thoughts, these actions, are immoral. But that dark side that lives inside all of us, the true nature of man, drives us to seek the need that burns within, demanding to be set free. Deep inside of our bones lies that intrinsic need, one desperate to escape. An innate behavior, seemingly out of our control.

One that screams for sins they tell us are condemning.

Aero is the throat from which I scream.

The dark parts of myself I want hidden from this world are all he sees when he gazes at me beneath yet another mask.

He’s the demon drowning me in my own underlying desires.

He may never stop. Not until I succumb to my truths, or die beneath the weight of his unrelenting grasp.

Because according to him, the life I’ve been living is a hell far worse than death.

Crystal's Thought:

"Tonight I'll meet my demon in the dark."

I'm going to preface this review by stating that I have not read Haunting Adeline, so I cannot comment or compare the two books. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Read an #Excerpt from Shoulder the Skye by Donna Grant

Passion will test the boundaries of life and death.

About the Book

Shoulder the Skye
Skye Druids #2
by Donna Grant
Format 366 pages, Kindle Edition
Published April 4, 2023 by DL Grant, LLC
In her sexiest Skye Druid novel yet, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant weaves an intricate tapestry of magic, secrecy, and ultimate desire.

Passion will test the boundaries of life and death.

Bronwyn Stewart knows heartache. Death and danger have haunted her every step, but she’s prepared for what’s hunting her. Or as prepared as she can be. There’s only one outcome—and she’s ready for it. But a wickedly handsome Druid from her past returns and refuses to let her face the oncoming battle alone. He stirs something long buried within her. For the first time in years, a spark ignites within her that soon turns into a blaze that can’t be extinguished.

Forced to leave his beloved isle years ago to protect his family, Elias MacLean fears he’ll never see his home again. But Fate has other ideas. When a mission leads him back to Skye to investigate a rash of Druid murders, he finds another mystery to unravel—that of a gorgeous, reclusive drough. With foes lurking around every corner and an undeniable hunger that grows with every kiss, Elias risks it all for the woman he’s fallen for. Together they unleash an all-consuming passion that won’t be denied.

Monday, April 3, 2023

🍷🍷 #Review of Thief of Sorrows by Kristen M. Long

Title: Thief of Sorrows
Author: Kristen M. Long
Format: 360 pages, Hardcover
Published: January 17, 2023 by Kristen M. Long Books
ISBN: 9798986836003
Reviewer: Crystal
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Rating:  2 out of 5
I do not bow to fear…it bows to me.

What if Robin Hood was a woman who not only stole from the rich, but killed them as well? Isolde Cotheran is anything but a damsel in need of saving. Working through assuming the role of heir to Thornwood, Isolde masquerades as the Hood, a vicious outlaw. The Hood leads a cadre of thieves and assassins to steal and punish the lords and ladies of Arnoria who do not heed her deadly warning: Abuse humans and pay the price. In a world where hierarchy means life or death, humans serve as slaves to Isolde’s kind, the Virya, a race of beings blessed by the gods with the ability to transform into animals and control the elements.

When Isolde viciously kills a lord, it sets off a chain of events that brings two men back into her life. Liam, the handsome captain of the guard, who was shunned from Thornwood for joining the king’s army. And Gage, the Right Hand of the king and murderer of Isolde’s first love, is determined to make her his wife by any means necessary. After a successful heist leaves Gage humiliated and in danger of the king’s wrath for failure to capture the Hood, Isolde’s world is thrown into chaos. Struggling to protect those she loves not only from the dangers of the kingdom but from her own deadly power, Isolde is forced to take action when one of her own is caught in the crosshairs. Choices are made and blood is spilled, forcing the Hood to face her past. A past that is far more dangerous than even she realizes.

Crystal's Thoughts:

"Powerful men have a way of underestimating intelligent, opinionated women, Lady Isolde. Much to their own demise."