Thursday, March 28, 2024

🍷🍷🍷🍷 #Review of What the River Knows by Isabel Ibañez

Title: What the River Knows
Series: Secrets of the Nile #1
Author: Isabel IbaΓ±ez
Format: Audible
Published: First published October 31, 2023
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 
Source: Audible/Libby 
Reviewer: Crystal
Rating:  🍷🍷🍷🍷 / 0 🌢️ 
Bolivian-Argentinian Inez Olivera belongs to the glittering upper society of nineteenth century Buenos Aires, and like the rest of the world, the town is steeped in old world magic that’s been largely left behind or forgotten. Inez has everything a girl might want, except for the one thing she yearns the most: her globetrotting parents—who frequently leave her behind.

When she receives word of their tragic deaths, Inez inherits their massive fortune and a mysterious guardian, an archeologist in partnership with his Egyptian brother-in-law. Yearning for answers, Inez sails to Cairo, bringing her sketch pads and an ancient golden ring her father sent to her for safekeeping before he died. But upon her arrival, the old world magic tethered to the ring pulls her down a path where she soon discovers there’s more to her parent’s disappearance than what her guardian led her to believe.

With her guardian’s infuriatingly handsome assistant thwarting her at every turn, Inez must rely on ancient magic to uncover the truth about her parent’s disappearance—or risk becoming a pawn in a larger game that will kill her.

The Mummy meets Death on the Nile in this lush, immersive historical fantasy set in Egypt filled with adventure, a rivals-to-lovers romance, and a dangerous race.

Crystal's Thoughts:

"Do you kiss all of your friends like this?"

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

#Spotlight on SLAY by Abbi Glines

𝐒π₯𝐚𝐲 by New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Abbi Glines is LIVE!!! This is a steamy, southern Mafia Romance set in the Georgia Smoke Series.  

About the Book

Georgia Smoke #1
by Abbi Glines

Format Kindle Edition
Published March 25, 2024 by Abbi Glines Publishing
There are moments in life when you make a decision. Accept who you are. What you have become. This was one of those times…The fairytale I thought I’d found had become a nightmare so quickly after I said, “I do.” Which was the reason I ran when I had the chance. Not thinking about the consequences. Just knowing I had to get free before it was my life that was taken.
I never expected to end up finding a haven. A place where people were willing to help me hide. It was as if I had walked into my own perfect daydream.

“Don’t believe every pretty face you meet, sweets. You should know by now that’s a terrible f----g idea.”
She was my job. I was to make her feel safe and do whatever I had to in order to make sure she didn’t run. Underneath the abused and broken exterior, there was a fighter. It was in her eyes. I lived for the moments when she let me see that spark.
I had been headed straight to Hell years before I met Rumor, but letting her fall in love with me was going to reserve me a room in the darkest pit available. One day soon, she was going to find out I was the monster she was running from and the family she had come to trust was the mafia that had killed her husband.

*Please be advised that this is book one in a duet and is a standalone in the Georgia Smoke Series.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

🍷🍷🍷🍷 #Review of Resonance Surge by Nalini Singh

: Resonance Surge
Series: Psy-Changeling Trinity #7
Author: Nalini Singh
Format: 384 pages, Kindle Edition
Published: July 18, 2023 by Berkley
Source: NetGalley
Reviewer: Crystal
Rating:  🍷🍷🍷🍷 / 🌢️  
Where are the broken? A propulsive question that unleashes a world of secrets in New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s Resonance Surge . . .

StoneWater bears Pavel and Yakov Stepyrev have been a unit since birth, but now Pavel’s life is veering in a new direction, his heart held in the hands of Arwen Mercant, a Psy empath—and the only man who has ever brought Pavel to his knees.

This is it. A point of irrevocable change. For Pavel . . . for Arwen . . . for Yakov . . . and for another pair of twins whose bond has a far darker history.

A low-gradient Psy, Theodora Marshall is considered worthless by everyone but her violently powerful twin, Pax. She is the sole person he trusts in their venomous family to investigate a hidden and terrible part of their family history—an unregistered rehabilitation center established by their grandfather.

Places of unimaginable pain designed to psychically wipe minds, leaving the victims shells of their former selves, the Centers are an ugly vestige of the Psy race’s Silent past. But this Center was worse. Far, far worse. And now Theo must uncover the awful truth—in the company of a scowling bear named Yakov who isn’t about to take a Marshall at face value . . . especially a Marshall who has turned his dreams into chilling nightmares.

Because Yakov is the great-grandson of a foreseer . . . and he has seen Theo die in an unstoppable surge of blood. Night after night after night . . .

Crystal's Thoughts:

Resonance Surge was a beary good read!

Friday, March 22, 2024

🍷🍷🍷.5 #Review of The Ever Queen by L.J. Andrews

Title: The Ever Queen
Series: The Ever Seas #2
Author: L.J. Andrews
Format: 452 pages, Kindle Edition
Published: January 26, 2024 by Victorious
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 
Source: eARC from Author 
Reviewer: Crystal
Rating:  🍷🍷🍷.5 / 🌢️🌢️ 
The Songbird:
Captive. Challenger. Queen.

Enemies took her from the man who holds her heart. They might see her as weak, as a pawn in wicked games, but they’re no match for the first Ever Queen.

Let them think they’ve won. Her heart belongs to a beautiful monster, and she will never stop fighting until she’s back in his arms.

The Serpent:
Captor. Villain. King.

His enemies stole the woman who claimed his soul. They betrayed him out of greed and desire for the crown, but they won't die for that betrayal. No.

They’ll die for touching her.

His heart belongs to a stunning little bird. He will never stop searching for her light across the skies. Not until the blood of his enemies spills at her feet, and his queen wears their bones around her neck.

Welcome back to the world of the Ever Kingdom where pirates collide with Vikings in passionate romance, brutal battles, and an unforgettable dark fantasy world. This book concludes the love story between Erik and Livia, but new, standalone romances with other favorite characters will continue to build the world. Readers are encouraged to check the TW inside the book for their reading comfort.

Crystal's Thoughts:

"...She is more than my queen. She is my every thought, my every breath..."

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Happy #BookBirthday to Man Spread by Vanessa Vale

In Hunter Valley, it's always open season on men.
Man Spread by Vanessa Vale is now live! 

About the Book

Man Spread
On a Manhunt #7
by Vanessa Vale

380 pages, Kindle Edition
Expected publication March 21, 2024
I'm a famous TV star—how hard can it be to pretend that real love is fake?

To women around the world, I’m Dr. Dark and Dangerous, sexiest bachelor alive.
I meet the only one who has no idea who I am. To single mom Aspen, I’m just the guy who rocked her world one night. Nothing more.
With the tabloids out to destroy my career and a movie deal on the line, I need help. I need a girlfriend to improve my image. Since the only one I want won’t do a real relationship, she agrees to be my fake girlfriend. Except the more time we’re together, the more we blur the lines between what's real and what’s fake.
Because how I feel for her isn’t pretend at all.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷 #Review of Gleam by Raven Kennedy

Title: Gleam
Series: The Plated Prisoner #3
Author: Raven Kennedy
Format: 613 pages, Kindle Edition
Published: May 31, 2021 by Raven Kennedy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 
Source: Kindle Unlimited 
Reviewer: Crystal
Rating:  🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷 / 🌢️🌢️ 
King Midas made me the woman I am today. Notorious. Unattainable. His.

The thing about being confined is that you believe it’s to keep the bad out... Until you realize it’s about keeping you in.

I’m now in a strange kingdom surrounded by liars, with no allies of my own, but I won’t sit idly by and let myself wither. No, there’s something that’s bloomed from the pit of my repression. Something dark. Something angry.

But the last thing I expected was for my anger to call out to him. King Ravinger.

He’s sinister and powerful and entirely too seductive. I’ve learned my lesson with trusting manipulative kings, so why does my chest constrict every time he’s near? I need to tread carefully, or I’m at risk of losing much more than just my freedom.

Regret and revenge war inside of me, and I need to figure out a plan fast before I get tangled up in the schemes of kings and queens.

Because I won’t be caught in a cage again. No, this time, It’ll be me setting the trap... I just hope my heart comes out of this unscathed.

Crystal's Thoughts:

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Happy #BookBirthday to The Veiled Kingdom by Holly Renee

From USA Today Bestselling Author Holly Renee, author of the Stars and Shadows series, comes a scorching new fantasy romance that ignites the pages with relentless danger, forbidden passion, and the intoxicating allure of enemies to lovers.

About the Book

The Veiled Kingdom
by Holly Renee

Format 364 pages, Kindle Edition
Published March 19, 2024
From USA Today Bestselling Author Holly Renee, author of the Stars and Shadows series, comes a scorching new fantasy romance that ignites the pages with relentless danger, forbidden passion, and the intoxicating allure of enemies to lovers.

Fleeing my father's cruelty, the wicked king who robbed me of a future, I face death in the streets, caught between a rebellion and a tyrant's reign.

Captured by those sworn to kill me, the rebels remain blind to my true identity—the missing daughter of the despised king. Faced with an impossible choice, I stand before them: join the rebels or face their blades.

Yet, Dacre, the son of the ruthless rebellion commander, becomes torn between suspicion and a desire that mirrors my own. He allows no one to touch me, tries to protect me, yet threatens me at every turn.

As secrets are weaved beyond our hidden realm, a fierce battle unfolds within me. As I get closer to the rebels, and their cause, my loyalty to my kingdom clashes with my undeniable devotion to Dacre and the burning connection between us.

In a world where love and hate are two edges of the same blade, I find myself caught in a delicate dance between forbidden desire and my looming destiny.

Friday, March 15, 2024

🍷🍷🍷 #Review of The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

: The Bone Witch
Series: The Bone Witch #1
Author: Rin Chupeco
Format: Audible
Narrator(s):  Emily Woo Zeller & Will Damron
Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
Published: March 7, 2017 by Blackstone Audio
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 
Source: Purchased
Reviewer: Crystal
Rating:  🍷🍷🍷 / 0🌢️
In the captivating start to a new, darkly lyrical fantasy series for readers of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price...

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there's anything I've learned from him in the years since, it's that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she's a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha-one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles...and make a powerful choice.

Crystal's Thought's:

Thursday, March 14, 2024

#Spotlight on Endless Skye by Donna Grant

New, from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant

About the Book

Endless Skye
Skye Druids #4
by Donna Grant

Format 390 pages, Kindle Edition
Published March 12, 2024 by DL Grant, LLC
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant returns with another seductive novel in the magical and dangerous world of the Skye Druids.
Passion comes with a price…

For Willa Ryan, family is everything. So, when her brother asks her to locate a book of unparalleled power, she doesn’t hesitate. Except she does more than find it. She attempts to steal it, and in the process, ends up running for her life—straight into the arms of a man waiting to rescue her. Jasper is unlike anyone she’s ever met, and she’s helpless to resist the undeniable passion between them. But desire always comes at a cost.

Jasper McCabe is a master of disguise and deception, and he uses both ruthlessly. Yet nothing can prepare him when he comes face-to-face with the breathtaking women he’s supposed to use for his ruse. Every instinct screams for him to run as far from Willa as he can. But there’s no escape from the captivating Druid and the feelings she awakens. With his darkest enemies closing in, Jasper is forced to choose with his heart, or lose the woman who is his one chance at salvation.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Read an #Excerpt from Happily Never After by Lynn Painter

Lynn Painter returns this spring with HAPPILY NEVER AFTER, a riotous new rom-com that readers of laugh-out-loud contemporary romances like those of Ali Hazelwood, Christina Lauren and Lana Ferguson will love. The Wedding Crashers meets No Strings Attached when two people disillusioned with love work together to break up couples’ weddings as hired—all while fighting the insane chemistry between them. Available now! 

About the Book

Happily Never After
by Lynn Painter

Format 304 pages, Paperback
Published March 12, 2024 by Berkley
Their name? The objectors.
Their job? To break off weddings as hired.
Their dilemma? They might just be in love with each other.

When Sophie Steinbeck finds out just before her nuptials that her fiancΓ© has cheated yet again, she desperately wants to call it off. But because her future father-in-law is her dad’s cutthroat boss, she doesn’t want to be the one to do it. Her savior comes in the form of a professional objector, whose purpose is to show up at weddings and proclaim the words no couple (usually) wants to hear at their ceremony: “I object!”

During anti-wedding festivities that night, Sophie learns more about Max the Objector’s job. It makes perfect sense to her: he saves people from wasting their lives, from hurting each other. He’s a modern-day hero. And Sophie wants in.

The two love cynics start working together, going from wedding to wedding, and Sophie’s having more fun than she’s had in ages. She looks forward to every nerve-racking ceremony saving the lovesick souls of the betrothed masses. As Sophie and Max spend more time together, however, they realize that their physical chemistry is off the charts, leading them to dabble in a little hookup session or two—but it’s totally fine, because they definitely do not have feelings for each other. Love doesn’t exist, after all.
And then everything changes. A groom-to-be hires Sophie to object, but his fiancΓ©e is the woman who broke Max’s heart. As Max wrestles with whether he can be a party to his ex’s getting hurt, Sophie grapples with the sudden realization that she may have fallen hard for her partner in crime.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Happy #BookBirthday to The American by Jodi Ellen Malpas

The American by Jodi Ellen Malpas is now live!

About the Book

The American
Unlawful Men #5
by Jodi Ellen Malpas
Format 600 pages, Paperback
Published March 12, 2024 by Jodi Ellen Malpas
ISBN 9781957597454 
Temptation has never been so dangerous.

A domineering force in Miami’s volatile criminal underworld, Brad Black is respected. Feared. His deadly accurate trigger finger and indestructible persona has earned him his intimidating reputation and, up until six months ago, hookers, drugs, and protecting the Black empire was the sum of his life’s purpose.

Until he saved her.

Wild, brave, and beautiful, Pearl Kennedy is Brad’s kryptonite. A distraction. A young distraction. But with enemies joining forces, coming at them with more force and less mercy than ever before, she’s also a deadly distraction. Focusing on the end game, finding and killing their enemies, has to remain his priority.

But Brad completely underestimates the power of his connection with Pearl.

And he can’t shake the niggling feeling that there’s more to her than meets the eye.

Pearl Kennedy was saved from the clutches of human traffickers by one of the world’s most notorious criminals—Brad Black. Since being taken back to his family’s mansion in Miami, she’s felt safe and protected, despite Brad’s cold, brusque, and confusing treatment. He should disgust her—he’s flaunted his hedonistic tastes unapologetically. But no matter how hard Pearl tries to fight it, she’s drawn to the lethal, handsome killer.

Yet she knows she’s living on borrowed time, and to succumb to the attraction would be to expose herself and her secrets.

And then it will be just a matter of who will kill her first.

The monsters from her past.

Or Brad Black.

Friday, March 8, 2024

🍷🍷🍷🍷.5 #Review of Ruthless Vows by Rebecca Ross

Title: Ruthless Vows 
Series: Letters of Enchantment, #2
Author: Rebecca Ross 
Format: 432 pages, Hardcover
Published: First published December 26, 2023
Source: Purchased
Reviewer: Crystal
Rating:  🍷🍷🍷🍷.5 / 0.5🌢️
The epic conclusion to the intensely romantic and beautifully written story that started in Divine Rivals.

Two weeks have passed since Iris Winnow returned home bruised and heartbroken from the front, but the war is far from over. Roman is missing, and the city of Oath continues to dwell in a state of disbelief and ignorance. When Iris and Attie are given another chance to report on Dacre’s movements, they both take the opportunity and head westward once more despite the danger, knowing it’s only a matter of time before the conflict reaches a city that’s unprepared and fracturing beneath the chancellor’s reign.

Since waking below in Dacre’s realm, Roman cannot remember his past. But given the reassurance that his memories will return in time, Roman begins to write articles for Dacre, uncertain of his place in the greater scheme of the war. When a strange letter arrives by wardrobe door, Roman is first suspicious, then intrigued. As he strikes up a correspondence with his mysterious pen pal, Roman will soon have to make a decision: to stand with Dacre or betray the god who healed him. And as the days grow darker, inevitably drawing Roman and Iris closer together…the two of them will risk their very hearts and futures to change the tides of the war.

Crystal's Thoughts:

Thursday, March 7, 2024

🍷🍷🍷🍷 #Review of Behind the Broken by Chloe C. Peñaranda

Title: Behind The Broken
Series: Behind Darkness Duet 1
Author: Chloe C. PeΓ±aranda
Format: 361 pages, Kindle Edition
Published: February 13, 2024 by Lumarias Press
Source: Courtesy of Author
Reviewer: Crystal
Rating: 🍷🍷🍷🍷 / 🌢️🌢️
A darkly heart-wrenching, swoon-worthy contemporary romance debut from Chloe C. PeΓ±aranda. Book one of the Behind Darkness duet will leave you on the edge of your seat for the sequel to Rhett and Ana's tension filled, emotional story.

No one expects an angel to buy a ticket to hell. 
I would have lived my life the righteous way, but my path of vengeance forced me to become the monster my uncle wanted to create. When I lie my way into playing bodyguard for the senator’s daughter, I don’t expect our fires to cross or to become addicted to the blaze. Anastasia Kinsley burns the ice that froze my heart years ago, but I need to find the will to resist. Chained up in the devil’s playground, I won’t let myself lose again.

When the devil came I couldn’t resist. 
As the daughter of a hopeful new president, my life often doesn’t feel like my own. When my father assigns me a bodyguard during the run-up to the election, I’m determined to make sure they both see exactly why I don’t need their protection. But Rhett Kaiser is . . . unexpected. He ignites a match in me I didn’t know I held, and the closer we get, the more I’m drawn to use it to discover what lies behind his icy exterior.

Crystal's Thoughts:

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

🍷🍷🍷🍷 #Review of Big Bad Boss: Midnight by Renee Rose and Lee Savino

: Big Bad Boss: Midnight
Author: Renee Rose & Lee Savino
Format: 298 pages, Paperback
Published: February 29, 2024 by Midnight Romance, LLC
Source: Courtesy of Author
Reviewer: Crystal
Rating: 🍷🍷🍷🍷 / 🌢️

I hate my new assistant.
I’ve hated them all, but this is a different kind of hate. Her presence is torture.
She’s whip-smart, overly-capable, the only employee of mine who dares talk back.
And the little human smells like temptation. The worst kind.
She dresses to kill, and I’m in danger of dying.
One of these days, she’s going to push me too far.
And she’s completely unprepared for what happens
when you unleash an alpha wolf on his quarry.

I hate my boss.
The Wall Street tycoon is a jerk. A world-class alpha-hole.
Devastatingly handsome but terribly flawed. He goes through assistants like I go through vanilla lattes, and I need this job. But I went to school with bullies like him, so I’m not afraid.
I hate my attraction to him. How sparks fly when we spar.
The way he barks orders and dresses me down.
I hate how I fantasize about him during and after work hours.
He’s danger wrapped up in power,
and he’s getting harder and harder to resist.

Midnight is book one in the Big Bad Boss trilogy. It features a billionaire boss-hole wolf shifter and his freakishly smart assistant.

Crystal's Thoughts:

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

#Spotlight on Live, Love, Spy by Lexi Blake

About the Book

Live, Love, Spy
Masters & Mercenaries: New Recruits #2
by Lexi Blake

Format 376 pages, Kindle Edition
Published March 5, 2024 by DLZ Entertainment, LLC
ISBN 9781942297925
Life can often be awkward when you are a child genius. For Louisa Ward, that came in the form of meeting her one true love at age 12. TJ Taggart was perfect. But being a year younger and a full year ahead of him in school always made things weird. Working in the CIA has made her into a strong and capable woman. Until she sees TJ. Fifteen years later, she still gets butterflies every time she sees the gorgeous soldier, but she’s tired of waiting and ready to find love, even if it can’t be with him.

Not everyone knows what they want out of life when they are a teenager, but TJ Taggart could always see exactly where he wanted to go. But joining the Army would require a sacrifice. Since meeting Louisa, TJ knew his cousin’s brilliant, oddball friend was the woman he wanted to spend his life with. He couldn’t ask her to live that life with him. She was meant to change the world at some prestigious research job or maybe teach a new generation of geniuses like herself at an Ivy League school. There would be a chance to sweep her off her feet when his time in this dangerous life was done, and their happily ever after could begin.

Before he can make it home on his latest leave, TJ is kidnapped by an unknown adversary. As he waits to die, all he can think of is the time he wasted and how badly he wants to be with Lou. He’s more than a little surprised when his sweet, quiet girl shows up leading a CIA special ops squad to bust him out. Back in Dallas, it’s time to claim the woman of his dreams. He has a plan to win her over, until the adversary who almost killed him returns to finish the job.