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Review: The Brightest Night (Origin #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The thrills, drama, and intrigue continue in the third installment of the Origin series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout.

He is the darkest star.
You are the burning shadow.
And together, you will bring about the brightest night.

Less than a year ago, Evelyn Dasher was a normal girl, living an unremarkable life.

Now, she’s on the run, under the protection of the beautiful, deadly inhuman Luc. She’s been betrayed by those who were closest to her. And she’s learned truths about herself that she never saw coming–things she once knew, and was made to forget. Truths with devastating consequences. She’s caught in the eye of the storm.

She is the eye of the storm

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“If you were letters on a page, you’d be the fine print.”

“When am I supposed to thank you, Luc?” “When I do something worth thanking me for.”

“You’re the burning shadow and he’s the darkest star, and together, you will bring about the darkest night.”

Another thrilling and exciting installment of the Origin Series!

The Brightest Night picks up right where The Burning Shadow left off and kept me on the edge of my seat right until the very end. When we meet up with Evelyn, she’s on the run and under the protection of Luc. Trust doesn’t come easy to Evelyn, as those who were the closest have betrayed her in the past. Her memories may have been gone, but they are certainly not forgotten. Truths that were once hidden will be revealed and have devastating consequences. Forget everything you thought you knew and hold on because The Brightest Night is sure to take readers on one wild ride…

The Brightest Night was everything that I was hoping it would be. It picked up right where the last book left off and had me hooked from the very first page. There is so much I want to say right now, but I absolutely can’t! So, I’ll leave you with this. The Brightest Night is thrilling and exciting. There are dangers around every corner. There are some achingly beautiful moments and a romance that is sure to make readers swoon. Truths will be revealed and the floor will be ripped out from you. I can tell you this, I was in no way prepared for the last 10% or so of this book. I thought I was on the right track and knew how the story was going to play out and let me tell you, I was dead wrong. This was a twist and turn I didn’t see coming. Everything I thought I knew was gone in a snap of a finger and know I’m sitting here dying to know what in the world is going to happen next!

Jennifer Armentrout has once again blown me away with her incredible writing and story-telling. She gave me a story filled with so many emotions and unexpected turns and I loved every single second of it. The Brightest Night was a terrific read from beginning to end and I’ll be anxiously waiting for the next installment of the Origin Series.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review* 

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

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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!


Book Review – Snow the Vampire Slayer by Rebekah R. Ganiere


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Snow the Vampire Slayer

by Rebekah R.


Farielle #2

Publication Date: September 22, 2014

Genres: Fantasy, Romance

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Snow Cover


Lady Snow Gwyn is tired of playing “mother” to her seven Vampire

Slaying brothers. For the past two years, she’s yearned to be out there fighting at their side as they hunt

for bloodsuckers in the black of night. Snow is as good a fighter as any man, but she wasn’t called to be a

Slayer. A mere formality in her book.

Prince Sageren, Son of Lothar has spent the last fifty years in exile,

awaiting the day when he can finally avenge his family and take back his throne. Barely existing, he’s

forced to face his inner demons and the monster he once was, compelling him to vow to never drink

from humans again. A simple enough task–until he crosses paths with a human who makes his fangs

ache to drain her.

That’s why when Snow runs into Prince Sage on a late night trip to the

woods, she’s torn between the urge to kill him and the desire to succumb to the feeling he stirs within

her. And when Snow’s life is threatened by the same evil that murdered his family, Prince Sage must

enlist the aid of Snow’s brothers to not only help him save her life, but to also regain his rightful place as

King of the Vampires.

If Sage can keep the Slayers from killing him first.

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About the Author

Rebekah R. Ganiere

Rebekah is an award winning author. Her novel Dead Awakenings, debuted in January 2014. Red

the Were Hunter, the first in her Farielle Series, released in May. The second book

Snow the Vampire Slayer will be releasing in September 22, 2014. And her trilogy The

Society will be released Nov. 17th 2014 by Kensington’s Lyrical Press.

Rebekah is the VP of Communications of the RWA FFP Chapter as well as a member of her local

Los Angeles and Orange County chapters. In her spare time when she isn’t writing you can find her

moderating on or hanging out with her husband, four children and her English

Bulldog, rabbit, two bearded dragons, and two tortoises. The escaped snake has yet to be found.

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Book received from author in return for an honest review

Lady Snow Gwyn is tired of playing “mother” to her seven Vampire Slaying brothers. For the past two years, she’s yearned to be out there fighting at their side as they hunt for bloodsuckers in the black of night. Snow is as good a fighter as any man, but she wasn’t called to be a Slayer. A mere formality in her book.

Prince Sageren, Son of Lothar has spent the last fifty years in exile, awaiting the day when he can finally avenge his family and take back his throne. Barely existing, he’s forced to face his inner demons and the monster he once was, compelling him to vow to never drink from humans again. A simple enough task–until he crosses paths with a human who makes his fangs ache to drain her.

When Snow runs into Prince Sage on a late night trip to the woods, she’s torn between the urge to kill him and the desire to succumb to the feeling he stirs within her. And when Snow’s life is threatened by the same evil that murdered his family, Prince Sage must enlist the aid of Snow’s brothers to not only help him save her life, but to also regain his rightful place as King of the Vampires.

If Sage can keep the Slayers from killing him first.

Yes, this is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs but absolutely not as you know it! I love reading re-imagined versions of fairy tales. And the idea behind this one, Vampires, Weres and Slayers, is a great one. This is actually book two in the Fairelle series. I haven’t read book one and this was still a great read as a stand-alone. I didn’t feel lost at any point, also I felt as far as the story went I could leave it there if I wished. But, I can’t leave it there at all! I’m definitely intending on going back and reading the first book now.

Snow is pretty badass for a ‘proper lady’ Yes she definitely has her fair share of naivety about the world but she adapts pretty darn quickly and surprised me more than a few times with her quick thinking bravery. I’m guessing though, when you’re in a houseful of brothers who are slayers, you pick up a tip or two along the way! Her brothers are typical brothers in the way they can’t tidy up after themselves and they give Snow hell, but really that’s where the ‘typical’ ends. They are Vampire Slayers. That is who they are and what they do. Being a Slayer is so much a part of them that there is no way they see vampires in any other light. Slayers kill vampires otherwise the vampires will kill the Slayers.

This of course becomes quite the predicament when Snow bumps into a mysterious stranger, who turns out to be a mysterious vampire stranger. Sage is a Vampire Prince with a price on his head. He needs to focus on taking back his kingdom but he finds himself completely infatuated with Snow instead. Sage is probably one of the most restrained, well mannered vampires I have ever come across. So, it’s from here, from their first meeting in the forest, we watch Sage and Snow battle each other, the Slayers, the Vampires and seemingly the whole world whilst they begin a romance unlike any other.

By the time I was getting towards the end of the book I had literally NO idea how anything was going to get resolved. It all seemed completely hopeless. Of course there is a resolution and at first I really wasn’t sure how I felt about it… But I can honestly say by the end of the book I really do believe that there was no other way the story could’ve gone. In this instance, the ending worked perfectly for the characters and their journey. So yes, we get our HEA, with the added bonus of knowing that there is plenty more to come in this world. Plenty more adventures to be had and plenty more stories to be told.

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Book Review – Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

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I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still the yellow brick road, though—but even that’s crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I’m the other girl from Kansas.

I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.

I’ve been trained to fight.

And I have a mission.

I loved the sound of this as soon as I saw the cover and the title. The overall effect was a little bit creepy and a lot intriguing! I knew I had to read it. Then the blurb confirmed that not only did I have to read it, but I had to read it STRAIGHT AWAY.

There’s no place like anywhere but here.

I felt like every two sentences I was stopping to highlight a section of the page. Honestly I probably could’ve highlighted the whole book at the rate I was going! Yes it probably was greedy of me but I had to keep as much of the writing as I could to read back on. It was so enchanting, so descriptive so utterly imaginative. I was very quickly obsessed. I haven’t had so many quotes that I’ve loved from one book in a looooong time.

I reached out my hand and let some flakes fall into it. It didn’t melt. It wasn’t snow, I realized. It was ash. I looked up at Nox in surprise. “Your fire burned up the sky,” he explained. For a second, I was disappointed. Show would have been so pure and beautiful. But ash made so much more sense with who I was.

This story follows Amy Gumm, high school student from (yep, you guessed it) Kansas. Trailer park raised by a mother with many issues. Smart-assed, scrappy, angry and lonely. Amy is by no means shiny and perfect that’s for sure, but considering the last seemingly perfect person to land in Oz had turned into its worst nightmare I feel it was fitting that Amy was a little rough around the edges. Sometimes with characters like this, especially in the YA genre I get frustrated with their lack of growth, but by the end of this book she really had developed. She still has a way to go but there was definitely change happening. Thanks to that, not to mention her general kick-butt amazingness I was totally team Amy by the end of the book!

“That girl has more cracks in her than the road of yellow brick”

I loved the liberties the author took with the very well known characters from the very well known tale of Oz. If you’re going to take such well known characters and such an iconic story and absolutely turn it on its head then you really need to commit and go full-throttle. Make an impression and prove to us readers why we should believe in this version of events. Absolutely this happened here. I 100% believed the story that was being told here. The familiar twisted with the dark. Dorothy, The Lion, The Scarecrow, The Tin Man, Glinda – all horrifying now in their own way. It’s safe to say I LOVED what was done with these characters.

“Good. Like that means anything around here. I hate to break it to you, but just because someone has pretty hair and good skin tone and a crown instead of a pointy hat doesn’t mean she’s not the baddest bitch this side of the Emerald City.”

“Down is up, up is down. Good is Wicked, Wicked is Good. The times are changing. This is what Oz has come to.”

I don’t want to reveal any spoilers, I loved following this book through having no idea where it was going, no idea who was good and who was wicked, so I won’t ruin that possibility for you. All I will say is if you want to read something a little bit different, with a bit of an edge and a lot of weird then you should definitely give this a go. I do read the Fantasy type genre, but I can’t say I’m a big YA fan, however in this instance I loved it. There are more books to come in this series and I will absolutely be reading on, I seriously can’t wait to see what’s in-store for Oz next.

Dorothy Must Die

By Danielle Paige

 photo credit: Lori Joan via photopin cc

Book Review – Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) by Deborah Harkness

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You may have noticed that last week I was mostly MIA… Well that’s thanks to the fact I had started this book. It’s a hefty read just like its predecessor was, and just like the final instalment will be I’m sure. Once again I was transported into a world of humans, witches, vampires, daemons and more… And once again I LOVED it.


Historian Diana Bishop, descended from a line of powerful witches, and long-lived vampire Matthew Clairmont have broken the laws dividing creatures. When Diana discovered a significant alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, she sparked a struggle in which she became bound to Matthew. Now the fragile coexistence of witches, daemons, vampires and humans is dangerously threatened.

Seeking safety, Diana and Matthew travel back in time to London, 1590. But they soon realise that the past may not provide a haven. Reclaiming his former identity as poet and spy for Queen Elizabeth, the vampire falls back in with a group of radicals known as the School of Night. Many are unruly daemons, the creative minds of the age, including playwright Christopher Marlowe and mathematician Thomas Harriot.

Together Matthew and Diana scour Tudor London for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782, and search for the witch who will teach Diana how to control her remarkable powers…

This book picks up right where book one left off. We find Diana and Matthew at the destination of their time walking… the year 1590. Elizabethan England. I am someone who has a lot of love for anything to do with history. I love reading about past eras, whether in fact or fiction. So I was excited to follow this story and devour every single detail I could, not just about the characters but also about the setting…

There is a lot of detail packed into these pages. For me I love a book with a heavy dose of detail as long as it adds to the story being told and in this case it was certainly warranted. There is no way the author would’ve been able to paint such a vivid picture of the Elizabethan era if she didn’t spend the page space on building up every little detail from the clothing, the food, the buildings, the etiquette right down to the smells and strange little quirks of the period. I LOVED the detail that Deborah Harkness went into. I didn’t begrudge one single sentence of her world building. It was beautifully done. I really enjoyed that the same level of care that Harkness took in the first book with describing the scientific aspects of the story was also paid to the historical aspects in this instalment. For me I think what really highlighted the almost unimaginable alien feel of the time period was that we were seeing it through Diana’s eyes. Through her very modern, current day eyes. For as much as she is a history buff, she is still from our way of life. Having her deposited into 1590 highlighted just how much the world has changed.

Time travelling can be a very tricky plot to both write and follow as a reader. I really enjoyed the authors take on this subject… that said, there is always going to be some threads of the story that do raise question marks and it’s certainly no different here. I do wonder about the ‘old’ Matthew who reappears with apparently no knowledge of the events his future self participated in after Diana and ‘current’ Matthew return back to the current day. Think about it too hard and there are a lot of ‘what if’s’ there. Also the creatures that are let in on the secret of the time travelling have their future completely re-written, just by the fact they know what they know. But the implications of all of this can’t ever possibly be fully covered and explained.

On the other hand, the fact that the characters need to be careful about altering history is brought up quite a few times and this is actually one of the parts of the time travelling storyline I really enjoyed. How the author focused on the seemingly smallest things (the set of miniatures for example) and linked through them to chapters set in the current day was the perfect way to tie the story together and keep the pace and story going in the here and now as well as in the past. I loved that we got to check in with characters such as Marcus, Em, Sarah, Ysabeau and Sophie as well as some characters that weren’t familiar from the first book but I’m sure will be by the end of the last. This last point also goes for the characters introduced in the past. I loved getting to meet the people from Matthews past that I had heard of, I loved following Matthew and watching him be able to see people that he had lost long ago. There were some very poignant reunions; the chapters spent on their visit to Sept-Tours were my absolute favourites of the whole book.

The plotlines covering the manuscript and Diana’s powers all progressed at least in part. As far as Diana’s learning of her craft, even though I felt like it was a bit stop/start on the whole, I still really loved the direction this storyline ended up taking. There were some unexpected surprises and reveals about Diana and her powers and it was so satisfying that by the end of this book she had actually moved forward in learning about and managing her powers. The manuscript had a lot of writing time spent on the hunting of it. The actual acquiring of it…Not so much. But that doesn’t at all reduce the shocking discovery about its nature and I’m very interested to see where this particular storyline heads next, it’s gotten steadily creepier and creepier and I’m sure there’s much more of that to come.

Finally…The love story. As much as this is a story about creatures, magic and time travel, it’s just as much a story of a romance. The relationship between Matthew and Diana is the crux of this series. Everything comes back to them and their connection and in this book everything is taken up a few notches and we start to see exactly what is riding on this love story. Both characters develop and grow along with their relationship and I love that there is progress in this respect. Nothing drives me crazier than a love story that’s stagnant. Probably my biggest hope for Diana and Matthew is that they get some form of HEA once all is said and done. I’m still unsure what that HEA will look like, but I am staying optimistic!

So yes, this is a long read. Yes, this has A LOT of detail, historical and otherwise and yes it is based on a romance. I feel that all of these aspects make it work as a brilliant second instalment in this trilogy. It feels like we are hurtling towards all of these threads of stories being tied into finality and I literally cannot wait until July 15th when the final book is released… I can guarantee I won’t be sleeping much that week… I have seriously big hopes…. huge hopes!


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