RSS Feed

Category Archives: Kristal

Book Review – Chosen Fool (Forever Evermore #5) by Scarlett Dawn

Posted on

chosenfool

Blurb:

The second saga in the bestselling, Forever Evermore series continues with Chosen Fool, where deception runs deep and Caro’s transitioning life turns even more deadly…

Caroline Jules has received news of a lifetime. She’s going to be Queen to ‘her’ people. Instead of running, as any sane criminal would, she faces the mêlée with all the wits and savvy that her difficult life has honed. With her best friend, Sin, at her side, Caro pushes past the animosity her power inevitably brings, and prepares to rewrite her future.

Until the night Sin leaves, and she is alone.

Now, Caro must face the Royal world and all its intrigues and intricacies by herself. People aren’t always as they appear—and danger lurks behind even the most pleasant face. When a threat not even the Elders can handle puts her new tribe in danger, Caro takes matters into her own hands. Armed with the power of the mysterious spirit Elementals, Caro’s determined to eliminate the evil ransacking the Mysticals. All she needs is time.

But time waits for no fool…and time isn’t as straightforward as it seems.

 

Ok. WOW. I don’t even know where to start with this review. As soon as I start thinking about this story my mind is going in a million different directions until it feels like it’s going to implode on itself. This book was SO MANY THINGS. So many GOOD things. It was an absolutely brilliant follow-up to the 4th book, Chosen Thief, and I am in love with these new prodigies. Dare I say it…..I think I love them even more than their predecessors.

At the end of Chosen Thief we were left with a lot of questions and not many answers (yet). It was a strong start to the new series about Caro and the gang and like any series worth its weight it had me marking days on my calendar until Chosen Fools release. Chosen Fool did not disappoint. It launched us straight into the action and within the first few chapters I thought my heart was going to explode as we got some angsty insight into a couple of the well loved characters. It was the answers I had both been hoping for and dreading and god help me, all I want now is MORE MORE MORE.

The new prodigies adventures and antics easily keep the reader hanging on every word and one of the things I love best about this series is the fact that Scarlett Dawn has managed to write about a new group of characters, living in the same world and holding the same positions within that world, but has managed to make the story completely unique. It would have been easy to fall back into the same predictable pattern as the story before it but instead she’s brought a fresh and exciting new fable to the table.

The ending of this latest installment absolutely blew my mind and I’m fully aware that my whole review is full of mostly fan-girling and little of the story! But it’s purposeful! (Kind of. I didn’t mean for the fan-girling to escalate to this level but c’est la vie.) You need to read this freakin’ series (if you’re not already) and get to know these freakin’ characters ASAP then message me so we can lose ours minds together because THAT ENDING. Curse you, Scarlett Dawn. Curse you. I’m begging you, please don’t make us wait a whole year for the next book in the series!

 

*ARC very gratefully received in exchange for review. Our reviews are always honest. 

Purchase links –

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1RO8gQM

iBooks: http://apple.co/1WkEMZH

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1PSwFy5

Barnes&Noble: http://bit.ly/209Hz89

Find the entire series: http://www.scarlettdawn.net/forever-evermore/

Scarlett Dawn-1.jpg

Author Bio:
New York Times bestselling author and award-winner, Scarlett Dawn is the author of the Forever Evermore new adult fantasy series, the Mark new adult science fiction saga, and the Lion Security contemporary series.

She lives in the Midwest, adores her music loud, and demands her fries covered in melted cheese.

Website: http://www.scarlettdawn.net

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/ScarlettDawn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorScarlettDawn

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scarlettdawnauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ScarlettDawnUSA

GIVEAWAY

12695897_10209225549701767_1867246806_n.jpg

$350.00 Amazon Gift Card
Link: http://bit.ly/1RYTPcf
Easy Fan. X Newsletter Sign-Up
Seven authors. One newsletter.
All-in-one access to your favorites.
Authors included:
Scarlett Dawn, Laura Thalassa, Rachel E. Carter, Leia Stone, Ashley Stoyanoff, Stacey Marie Brown, and Amber Lynn Natusch
FEPROMO1A.jpg

Ring In The New Year With An Awesome Giveaway!!

explosion-firework-new-year-s-eve-december-31

Happy New Year from all of us at Once Upon a Book Blog!! We wanted to say a special thanks to each and every one of you for all of you love and support this year! As a special thank you, we wanted to do a little giveaway to say goodbye to 2015 and hello to 2016! One lucky winner will have the chance to win! Here’s what’s up for grabs:

  • 1-Signed Copy of Until I Met You by S.L. Scott (US Only)
  • 1- $10 Amazon or B&N Giftcard
  • 1- E-Book of winner’s choice up to $5.99 in value.

What do you have to do to win?

Easy, just go to our Facebook page and find this giveaway post:

Like this post

Comment with what you’re looking forward to in the new year

Tagging and Sharing is not required, but it definitely appreciated.

Contest will run from 12/31/15 until 1/7/16. Winner will be chosen at random and will have 48 hrs to contact us to claim their prize!

Good Luck Everyone and Happy New Year!!

Our Top Reads of 2015!!

Our Top Reads of 2015!blur-old-antique-book

Amy~

I’ve read so many amazing books this year, and trying to narrow down my favorites to just 10 has been an extremely difficult task! That being said, here’s what I came up with:
  • Life After Falling by Alyssa Rose Ivy

As a fan of Alyssa Rose Ivy’s, this book totally blew my mind. The writing was smart, the characters fresh and entertaining, and was a total feel good romance!

  • Until I Met You by S.L. Scott

This is probably one of the most unique books that I’ve read all year. Not only was it different than anything I’ve read by S.L. Scott, but it also took me on one unexpected journey!

  • Long Way Down by Krista & Becca Ritchie

It’s the end of an era and as sad as I was to say goodbye to this series, this book gave me the absolute best ending I could imagine!

  • Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley

It’s KA!! Alpha’s, Angst, and Good Romance. Do I need to say more??

  • The Air He Breathes by Brittiany C. Cherry

So, so many feels with this one!

  • Bright Side & Gus by Kim Holden

My top “Ugly Cry” book(s) of the year!

  • A Lover’s Lament by K.L. Grayson & B.T. Urrela

This was an amazing collaboration that not only left me speechless, but stole my breath with it’s beautiful writing. I can’t wait for more from these two.

  • After The Storm by Faith Andrews

This was an emotional and swoon-worthy read. A great second chance romance!

  • Give Me Yesterday by K. Webster & Elle Christensen

Speaking of second chance romances, this was the collaboration that I was waiting for. These two ladies make magic when they write together. This was another “Ugly Cry” for me.

  • Fisher’s Light by Tara Sivec

This book rendered me totally speechless. I can’t even put my feelings into words for this one!

Kristal~

  • The Consolation Duet by Corinne Michaels – Aaaaaall the angsty feels! My heart!
  • The Mason List by S D Hendrickson – An absolutely epic coming-of-age romance.
  • Love Hacked by Penny Reid – This was new to me this year but I’m going to say it is one of my favourite books EVER and not just of the year.
  • Paper Hearts by Claire Contreras – I don’t even have all the words to describe how much I love this book. It is perfection. 
  • Corrupt by Penelope Douglas – This was a little out of my comfort zone. I don’t usually like books that are quite so mean and dirty but for whatever reason, I was utterly spellbound from start to finish.
  • Magic Shifts and Magic Stars by Ilona Andrews – Kate Daniels world. Enough said.
  • Art and Soul by Brittainy C Cherry – Brittainy C Cherry can write no wrong. I would read her shopping list. Heavy subject matter but so well written.
  • Interim by S Walden – Very controversial subject matter but a beautifully told story.
  • The Chosen Thief (Forever Evermore Book 4) by Scarlett Dawn – I love this series! Magical prodigy’s! This series has the potential to either become one of my favourites or ruin me for life. I’m scared.
  • The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons  – Charm and I read this together for the first time this year. Such an incredible EPIC story.

Charmaine~

  • Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels #8) by Ilona Andrews

I was introduced to this series by Kristal and I literally cannot get enough of Kate, Curran and their insane world!

  • Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers #1) by Penny Reid

The Winston Brothers series is fast becoming one of my favourites series ever. Second book in and these brothers have me by the heart.

  • Kaleidoscope Hearts (Hearts #1) by Claire Contreras

My absolute favourite random find read this year. This book had EVERYTHING I love to read in a story. Highly recommended!

  • Paper Hearts (Hearts #2) by Claire Contreras

I obviously couldn’t stop at one book in this series… This is a beautiful read. Please read it!

  • The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman #1) by Paullina Simons

Kristal and I had to buddy read this at the start of the year… As everyone who told us to read said, it really has stuck with me throughout the read. A classic book that should be read by everyone.

  • Ties that Bind (The Veil Series #5) by Pippa DaCosta

The final book in this series… I was absolutely entranced from the first page to the last. Such a fitting end to an awesome all encompassing series.

  • The Consequence of Loving Colton (Consequence #1) by Rachel Van Dyken

This book had me laughing out loud from the start! The first book I’ve read by Rachel Van Dyken and definitely not the last. So entertaining, I would absolutely re-read!

  • The Virgin Romance Novelist by Meghan Quinn

Another book recommended to me by Kristal. This book had me cracking up the WHOLE way through. One of my absolute favourite reads of 2015. Please, please READ THIS BOOK! You won’t regret it!

  • Eighth Grave after Dark (Charley Davidson #8) by Darynda Jones

This series has been going for a while but I just can’t not stay loyal. Charley never loses her wit, charm or ability to get herself into some of the most ridiculous situations I have ever come across. Love.

  • Ninja at First Sight (A KitC Novella) by Penny Reid

What can I say… It’s Penny Reid and she’s ventured back to the Knitting in the City series. This novella is the perfect easy read to keep me satisfied until Happily Ever Ninja is released in January 2016…

Thank you so much for letting us share our top reads of the year with you. It’s been an amazing year for books and we can’t wait to see what good reads 2016 will bring us!

Book Review – Grayson’s Vow by Mia Sheridan

25167898

No two Mia Sheridan books are ever the same. Each book of hers is a new and refreshing experience. Her stories are a vibrant mix of her beautiful writing, lovable characters and some of THE most gorgeous settings I’ve ever read about. In Grayson’s Vow we follow the story of an imperfect pair of strangers who come together in a marriage of convenience, but who end up falling into a deep and long lasting love. I was absolutely hooked from the very first chapter.

Kira Dallaire is desperate.

Some challenges in life seem too hard to overcome. With little money, and even fewer options, the quick-witted and vibrant twenty-two-year-old needs to reinvent herself. Known for her generous heart and impulsive personality, she devises a survival plan, possibly her most outrageous idea yet.

Grayson Hawthorn is losing hope.

Some obstacles in life seem too hard to overcome. Betrayal definitely being one of them. With limited capital, and dwindling resources, he is attempting to resurrect his failing family vineyard, a self-imposed vow seemingly destined to fail. That is until a young woman enters his office with an outlandish, unexpected proposition impossible to refuse.

What begins as a temporary business arrangement, soon evolves into more as vivacious, spirited Kira challenges detached, arrogant Grayson to want more from life. To want more for himself. But as their wills clash and fiery passion ignites, they’ll realize that sometimes the past creates walls too difficult to climb, and that lies and deception rarely precede a happily every after.

As Kira and Grayson race toward their destiny, they will discover that some vows are meant to be broken, and others are worth risking everything for . . . even your very own heart.

Mia Sheridan is well known for her intensely deep, and often dark and desperate romances, but Grayson’s Vow didn’t seem to carry a lot of that heaviness that her other stories have. It had a lighter. almost summery feel to it that left me feeling very satisfied throughout that book. Don’t get me wrong, it still had some pretty serious undertones, but not the stark, bleak, desperation I’ve felt (and loved) from the last 2 or 3 books of hers. This is what I mean by each of her books being so different – I love that she changed things up and gave us, the readers, something different but equally as beautiful.

The story is told in dual POV so you get to fully experience and appreciate both sides of the story. Their personality traits seemed to balance each other out perfectly – I enjoyed Kira’s playful and mischievous side equally as much as I swooned over Grayson’s damaged hero vibe he had going on – yin and yang.

Grayson’s Vow was blast from start to finish with elements of everything that make up a great romance – fantastic writing, broody hero, sassy-pants heroine, gorgeous supporting characters, all wrapped up in a beautiful setting. This is another winner by Mia Sheridan!

*ARC received in exchange for review – thank you!

Blog Tour and Review: Kick Push (The Road #2) by Jay McLean

Posted on
 Blog Tour &
Review

Title: Kick, Push

Author: Jay McLean

Release Day:  August 4, 2015

KICK PUSH KDP
PURCHASE LINKS:
US:  http://bit.ly/kickpushamznus
UK:  http://amzn.to/1L0SmwZ
BLURB 
There’s a single defining moment within every skater.
It lasts only a second. Two if you’re good.
Three if you’re really good.
It’s the moment you’re in the air, your board somewhere beneath you, and nothing but wind surrounds you.
It’s the feeling of being airborne.
The sixteen-year-old version of me would’ve said it was the greatest feeling in the world.
Then at seventeen, I had my son.
And every single second became a defining moment. Even the ones that consisted of heartbreak when his mother left us.
Seventeen. Single. Dad.
That’s what my life became.
Yet, every day, I managed to find that feeling of being airborne.
Or at least I convinced myself I did.
But I lied—to myself and to everyone around me.
Until she showed up; Tanned skin, raven dark hair, and eyes the color of emeralds.
You know what sucks about being in the air?
Coming down from the high.
Sometimes you land on the board and nail the trick.
Then kick, push, and coast away.
Other times you fall.
You fall hard.
And those are the times when it’s not as easy to get back up, dust off your pads and try again.
Especially when the girl with the emerald eyes becomes your drug…
And you become her poison.
GOODREADS LINK: http://bit.ly/1FSYTTZ

“You said that life’s just like skating; I just need to kick forward and take a chance, push off the ground and follow through. And when everything works out, I’ll coast.” He smiles. “Kick. Push. Coast.” he murmurs, his eyes drifting shut. “Time to coast, son.”

Amy’s Review

This is one of those books that will make you feel. “It should be impossible to feel so much at once. Love. Hate. Envy. Despair. Sadness. Guilt. Yet here I am, sitting on the steps just outside their door, and I feel all of it. It’s like a weight pulling down on my heart and the only thing I can do to survive is breathe. Through the pain. The excitement. The longing for something that isn’t mine. That never will be. Inhale. Exhale.” From the moment I read the first page, I was sucked in. I knew this story was going to amazing. Kick Push was well written and captivating. You can’t help yourself from wanting to read and know more about the characters.

Kick Push is Joshua and Becca’s story. Josh is Hunter’s best friend, whom we briefly met in Where The Road Takes Me. Josh had his whole life ahead of him; not a care in the world. All that mattered was skating and his girlfriend. When Josh’s girlfriend ends up pregnant, his whole world gets turned upside down. Josh does the noble, mature thing and stands by his girlfriend. Only, in the end, he winds up alone. A single parent at the age of 17. To say things were tough for Josh would be an understatement. Josh is lost and feels like there is no way out. That is until Chaz enters his life. Chaz not only becomes Josh’s saving grace, but gives him the help and support he so desperately needs. Once again restoring his faith in humanitly. SHowing him that there are still some good, kind people in this tough world.

Becca is Chaz’s granddaughter. She’s quiet, shy, troubled. Her past is exactly that, her past. She is determined to not let anyone get close to her. All is going to plan until she meets Josh. There’s just something about Josh that calls to her. She wants to know more about him. He makes her want to live, open up again, to be free from her past. The two of them form an unlikely friendship, that slowly turns into something more; something amazing. Becca feels safe with Josh and that’s a feeling she hasn’t had for a very long time. It seems too good to be true and when things seem that way, it’s because it usually is. What will happen when the past catches up with both Becca and Josh? Will they be able to Kick, Push, Coast?

If you are a fan of Jay McLean’s books than you know that you are about to go one crazy, emotional journey. No one and I mean no one, does angst and romance quiet the way that Jay McLean does. Her goal is to make you feel and connect with her characters on a deeper level. To make you take something more away from the story that you’ve read. And for me, that goal was accomplished in Kick, Push. The characters are real. They’re broken. They’re damaged. They are so incredibly easy to connect with. You can’t help but get lost in the characters and their story. Becca and Josh’s journey is not an easy one, but boy is it worth the ride. Their story will consume and captivate you. It will leave you breathless and crying for more. Kick, Push is definitely one story that is not to be missed.

Kristals Review

After meeting Josh (briefly) in Where the Road Takes Me, I, like many other readers, was pretty eager to get to know more about this young lad and his story. You don’t often come across a young single dad in an NA romance, so straight away the book had a point of difference that got me excited to read it. I’m giving myself a huge high five for signing up for this ARC because as Amy said – it has ALL THE FEELS.

Kick Push is a NA romance/coming of age story full of all of the very best things about a romance novel – huge emotions, angst, humour, and characters that you will easily fall in love with. This book is a journey, one that’s hard to be on at times but it will also leave you swooning and begging for more.

I can honestly say that nobody does a male character as well as Jay McLean. Time and time again she manages to write beautiful males characters that have an endearing blend of humour, sweetness and babe-ness (that’s a word). And Becca, she was so damaged but also wanted SO badly to move on from that damage and live a happy, normal life. You can’t help but feel for the girl. Even when Josh was being a total asshat (COMMUNICATION, kids, say it with me.), she had this unwavering inner strength and courage. She never outwardly fell apart or caused a scene, but you could feel the anguish and torment rolling off every page.

On that note – NOBODY does angst quite like Jay McLean. She seems to know exactly how far to push the reader before pulling back and letting the rest of the story flow. I thought I was about to have a conniption at one point. Luckily, I pushed through and saw this story through til the end. With its utterly gorgeous characters (the kid…awwww, the KID), and full blown drama, Kick Push is fantastic read. A quick word of warning – there’s a book two (I assume). I had no idea that this wasn’t a standalone when I started reading it and was quite surprised at the end, so heads up!

(I have to say, I am totally in agreement with you here, Kristal. When I got to the end, I was like, Wait! What?! This is not a stand-alone?! Now, I’m desperate to find out what happens next!! ~Amy)

kick-push-teaser-4
kick-push-teaser-3
AUTHOR BIO
Bio_pic
Jay is an avid reader, writer, and most of all, procrastinator. When she’s not doing any of those things, she can be found running after her two little boys, or devouring some tacky reality TV show.
She writes what she loves to read, which are books that can make her laugh, make her smile, make her hurt, and make her feel.
For publishing rights (Foreign & Domestic) Film, or television, please contact her agent, Erica Spellman-Silverman, at Trident Media Group.
AUTHOR LINKS

Jay McLean
 Facebook | Fan Group | Web | Twitter | Instagram | Newsletter |

The TBR (To Be Read) Tag – Tagged by our very own Amy!!!

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

K- Uh…I don’t. I have three TBRs. One on my phone, one on my Kindle (books I have already purchased) and our Goodreads one. I like to think of it as ‘controlled chaos’.

C- Simple answer is I don’t! Actually I have more than one TBR pile so really I have no chance of keeping track of anything. We of course have a OUaBB Goodreads one, which is my main go-to. But I also have a Kindle one and I even have a TBR pile in the notes on my phone! Ahem…

Is your TBR mostly E-book or print?

K- It’s nearly 100% e-book! So easy. 

C- E-Book all the way!

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

K- I’m a mood reader so I can’t really plan ahead. Often i’ll end up going for a completely random book that’s not even on my TBR. 

C- Well… It’s kind of like organized chaos. Usually I just pick one on a ‘whim’ or a ‘feeling’ depending on what genre I’m in the mood for. Otherwise I’ll pick one due to peer pressure…. Or I just bypass my TBR completely and buy something completely random!

A book that’s been on your TBR the longest?

K- Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid, #1) by Richelle Mead. I have picked this up a couple of times but I just can’t seem to get past the first chapter. 

C- Burned (Fever Series #7) by Karen Marie Moning. I loved the first 5 books in this series. The sixth was iffy for me and this seventh book has had it’s publication date pushed back a few times… So it’s been on my TBR for a very long time and I’m not completely sure that I’ll actually read it

A book that you’ve recently added to your TBR?

K- After (The After Series, #1) by Anna Todd. I have heard great things about this book so I’m considering it even though I usually avoid romance series. 

C- Truth or Beard (The Winston Brothers series #1) by Penny Reid. I love all things Penny Reid and have just finished reading a short story which is actually the beginning of this book… It’s not out till next year but already I can’t wait!

A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?

K- I don’t really have any?!  A lot of them have great covers but there’s nothing on there that I picked just because of the cover. The Collectors’ Society by Heather Lyons has a beautiful cover but the story also sounds amazing.

 

C- Hmmm…. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This cover captured me from the first time I saw it in a book store!

A book on your TBR that you never plan on really reading?

K- The entire Outlander series. I LOVE the TV show but because of my love for the tv show and the length of the books I will probably (definitely) never read the books. Also, we cheated and read ahead to find out what happens so I don’t have the burning need to ‘know’ what’s coming up.  

C- I’m the same here… The Outlander series. I loved the idea of reading this series and a while back we were considering buddy reading the first book, but I think for me, this is going to be a TV only format.

An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?

K- The Road by Jay McLean. More Than Forever was my favourite book this year so I’m excited for anything Jay McLean writes. 

C- Too many!!! But we are big Nicole Peeler fans and her new book Jinn & Juice is out next year. Beyond excited for this one!

A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read except you?

K- The Bronze Horseman. Why have I STILL not read this book?! I’m just not ready for the emotional commitment I think. 

C- Ahem.. The Bronze Horseman. Everyone keeps telling me to read this book and I want to read it…

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

K- The Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Everyone loves that series. 

C- The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. Kristal keeps telling me I need to read this. It IS going to happen!

A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read?

K- The Collectors’ Society by Heather Lyons (Ooh this book gets two mentions!). Amy read it and loved it so I can’t wait to read this. It’s next up on my list actually! Excited. 

C- In the Land of the Long White Cloud by Sarah Lark. I love a good historical read and I’m intrigued by this series which focuses on colonial 19th century New Zealand.

The number of books on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

K- Only 176 🙂 We’re doing really well! 

C- We aren’t outrageous at all with only 176!

Book Review – The Harlequin Doll by S. K. Munt

Posted on

We just finished our very first blog buddy read since Amy joined us. We were looking for something we could all read together and The Harlequin Doll sounded like it had a bit of everything we all love – mystery, hot men, romance and…a circus. Everyone loves a circus romance, right?! 

They’ll do anything to love her…

Elle Carey has never felt like she has ever truly belonged to anything; not her family, her body, her career as a journalist following in Editor-In-Chief father’s footsteps- none of it. By day she goes through the motions, reporting at her father’s side, playing nice with her over-achieving sister and pretending to be ashamed of her family’s heritage as her father is, but for Elle, it’s all a lie- she exists only to fly and has gone great lengths to keep her passion for the silks and trapeze a secret.

But when The Harlequin Bros spectacular comes to town, Elle gets the opportunity of a lifetime- one interview, one audition- one chance to live. She knows instantly that both of the beautiful Romani brothers, Archer and Jarrah Harlequin have the potential to steal her breath, but what she doesn’t know is that one is destined to do exactly that, and that the other will stop at nothing to make sure that the curse comes to pass as quickly as possible, yet again.

Elle expects to return to the paper afterwards with a few fond memories and maybe even an exclusive into the dark underbelly of the circus, but her destiny is not to see her name as a byline, but in the obituaries.

It is brother against brother, light against dark, demon against demon, temptation against love in this passionate and beautifully cruel story about the corruption of innocence and the illusions we weave to hide our true selves from one another

Kristal – Alright! Where do we start with this one….there was so much going on! The story starts off in the past where we learn about how it all began. We got to meet Archer and Jarrah and get some insight into who they were before certain ‘events’ happened. I gotta say, I loved these flashbacks and getting to know these character from the beginning. I also really enjoyed how it was done in a minimal way that didn’t overtake the story or make it feel drawn out, but it still gave us vital insight into who these characters are.

Charm – I agree with you Kristal, I loved the flashbacks. Not only did they provide the background that we needed on both the story and the characters but they were actually really interesting, integral snapshots of a past time in this world. I felt like there was a careful balance struck, which is not always a sure thing, we got enough insight without feeling like we were wading through the past every second chapter. This story was definitely not weighed down by its layout at all, the moments I had during the book of realizing that the puzzle pieces were slotting into place were due to the perfectly timed interspacing of past and present… I have to say though, while I loved those flashbacks, I was absolutely enthralled with the current day. Like, could not put it down enthralled.

Amy-This is one of the stories that you have to pay attention to and I mean that in the best way possible. There is so much going on. You will not want to skip a single word. This was my first book by this author and I was blown away. She created such an interesting world and I couldn’t help but want to know more. I think we’re all in agreement with the flashbacks. Sometimes for me, it can go either way. I either love them or don’t. But in this story, it worked so well. The flashbacks really gave me great insight to how things were in the past and how the characters ended up being the way that they were.

Kristal – I agree – you definitely need to pay attention to this story! There are so many twists and turns. I loved this world! It was very different to any other paranormal/fantasy type book I have read and it’s so refreshing when authors put a new twist on the paranormal world. And while there were plenty of WTF moments for me I didn’t feel at all like the story was losing me. I think a lot of my love for this world can be credited to the female characters in this story. I freakin loved them all but my faves were Elle, Ananya (especially Ananya) and Amelia; such strong and sassy characters!

Charm – I do agree, the world building was ridiculously intriguing. There was nothing formulaic or ‘been here done that’ about this story, which seems to be unfortunately a common let-down in paranormal. Now, character wise. I was ALL kinds of obsessed with these circus folk. I have a lot to say about this, so lets start with the females… Amelia, Ananya and Elle were fantastic strong female characters. I was especially loving Amelia, she is just such a complexity when you look at what she is and who she is vs. where she came from and who she came from. She was hard and sweet and really at the end of the day, everything that she needed to be when she needed to be it. These characters can often be overlooked in favour for more outrageous types but I really feel like she held her own here…

Amy- This was such a unique paranormal story, with so many fascinating characters. You had everything from Succubus’ to fae creatures to vampires to demons. I loved the variety.  One of my favorite parts about this book had to be all the twists and turns. For sure, there was never a dull moment. Just when you thought you had things worked out, you were proved wrong. I love nothing better than to be reading a book that has me on the edge of my seat, guessing what’s going to happen. And,  I have to agree that the ladies in this story stole the show. They were such strong leading characters and that’s not something you see a lot of. As far as favorite male character goes, I’m still sticking with Jarrah. He’s got that whole good/bad thing working for him and I can’t wait for Book 2 to come out, so I can know what his real motives are 😉

Kristal – Aaaah the male characters. This is a tough one for me because I’m not particularly sure I like either of them right now. Jarrah is definitely buttering my buns a little more than Archer though. For some reason I’m having a lot of difficulty connecting with Archer. He’s coming across as a little weak and feeble to me (maybe it’s because he uses so many exclamation marks in his speech?).  But it’s still early days so I’m keeping an open mind! I have my theories on how this will play out so I’m looking forward to finding out if I’m on the money or not.

Charm – Yes! The menfolk! I have to agree with you Kristal. I’m much more Jarrah than Archer… I can’t decide if this is smart or foolish of me. Jarrah seems much stronger as a character. I definitely don’t always agree with what he does or his motives but he’s true to himself and has a certain presence on the page… Where as Archer, he seems a little wishy washy. I think I understand what the author was going for with his character, but either it’s just not clicking quite right and what should make me love him is actually turning me off him OR this is actually exactly how it should be played and we are going to turn around further down the track in this series and think ‘Aha! I get it now’ I am personally really hoping for the latter as I would love nothing more than to be in Archers corner… but time will tell.

Amy-  The guys….I kinda have a love/hate relationship with them.  Archer was  so hard for me to connect with. He is a demon, the barro, the leader. And yet, I don’t feel that he really had a backbone. A leader is supposed to be strong, dominate, and be able to take charge and I just didn’t get that from him. Jarrah was more what I expected the leader to be, but his motives are questionable. Were his actions really to save his people or was it more selfish reasons- to get what he always wanted. I know I’ve stated this before but, it’s a  very interesting dynamic and I can’t wait to see if the guys prove me wrong in the next book!

Kristal – I know that three of us have talked about this, and we usually over-look these types of things in our reviews because we know that writers work their ASSES off and the stories are their babies, but there were quite a few grammatical errors in this book. At times it pulled us out of the story because we were having to re-read sentences. It not enough to be off-putting AT ALL, it’s just something to be aware of. 

I’m going to wrap up my part of this review by saying that I thought this was a fresh and intriguing world and I’m looking forward to reading the next installment in this series. S. K. Munt FTW!

Charm –  Ok, time to wrap up. I LOVED this book. It was intriguing and scene stealing and  I was completely enthralled from the start. However, I am in agreement with Kristal, although perhaps for me it was mostly the enthusiastic use of exclamation marks that was a little iffy. It really is amazing how such a small thing can alter the tone of a characters thoughts or speech so much. 

At the end of the day though I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending this book to anyone who will listen to my rambling. This is my first foray into the work of S. K. Munt and it absolutely won’t be my last, I can’t wait to find out what is coming next for these weird and wonderful circus performers!

Amy- I want to say a big Thank You to Charm and Kristal! This was our first buddy read since I joined OUaBB and It was such an exciting one! This was my first book by S.K. Munt and I’m excited to read more from her. Yes, there were some grammar issues, but I was able to overlook them. This story was so captivating and took me into a paranormal world that I have never experienced before. I think we are all in agreement that we can’t wait for Book 2 to come out!