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Review: The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

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No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.

Girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for their chance to grab one of the girls in order to make their fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.

With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.

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MY REVIEW

The Grace Year is a title that I have been impatiently waiting to get my hands on. From the synopsis alone, I just knew this book was going to be special and that it would be thrilling. I mean, it sounded like all of my favorite dystoptian novels were wrapped into one. So, if you’re a fan of The Hunger Games, The Handmaid’s Tale or even Lord of the Flies, you are in for a real treat with The Grace Year.

The Grace Year follows the story of Tierney James. Tierney has always dreamed for a better life than the one she knows. She lives in a society where dreams are forbidden and where women are seen as the weaker sex. When a girl reaches her sixteenth birthday, she enters what is called her grace year, a time that no one dares to talk about. Rumor has it that women are filled with magical power that they must accept and eradicate in order to return home pure and ready for their husbands. But, what they don’t tell you is that you will be pitted against one another, that your friends are not who you thought they were, and that there is more to fear than just poachers in the woods….

As a huge fan of YA Dystopian novels, I couldn’t wait to see what The Grace Year would bring to the table. And let me tell you, it does not disappoint. This story is filled with mystery and intrigue. The plot is totally unique, yet has similar elements to some beloved dystopian novels. This story is gritty and intense at times and it will certainly keep you on your toes. This is a story of survival in the worst of circumstances, yet there is also hope for a better life and future. The Grace Year does have some romantic tones, but the romance does not drive the book, the plot does. The Grace Year is filled with lots of fantastic twists and turns and at times will have you questioning what you have gotten yourself into.

Overall, I found The Grace Year to be a very enjoyable read. I thought it was very unique and written well. I found myself glued to the pages and unable to put this book down. I know this is a YA book, but do not let that fool you. This book packs a punch and keeps you guessing the entire time.  If you’re a fan of dystopian novels, I definitely would recommend giving The Grace Year a try.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: Archangel’s War (Guild Hunter #12) by Nalini Singh

Wings of silver. Wings of blue. Mortal heart. Broken dreams. Shatter. Shatter. Shatter. A sundering. A grave. I see the end. I see. . .

The world is in chaos as the power surge of the Cascade rises to a devastating crescendo. In furiously resisting its attempts to turn Elena into a vessel for Raphael’s power, Elena and her archangel are irrevocably changed. . .far beyond the prophecy of a cursed Ancient.

At the same time, violent and eerie events around the world threaten to wipe out entire populations. And in the Archangel Lijuan’s former territory, an unnatural fog weaves through the land, leaving only a bone-chilling silence in its wake. Soon it becomes clear that even the archangels are not immune to this deadly evil. This time, even the combined power of the Cadre may not be enough. . .

This war could end them all.

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MY REVIEW

“Sometimes, I convince myself I’ve imagined how magnificent you are, then you walk into a room and boom, there I fall all over again.”

“If death is our destiny, Archangel, she thought, then I’ll see you on the other side.”

To me, there is no better sign that you’re reading a good book, then when you stay up late to finish it. And I stayed up way too late finishing this one, but man was it worth the lack of sleep!

I don’t know about you guys, but after the way Archangel’s Prophecy left off, I have been dying to see what would happen next. And I’ve got to tell you, Author Nalini Singh does not disappoint. She pulls out all of the stops with Archangel’s War. Archangel’s War picks up right where the last book left off and just hits the ground running. If you had questions, I promise, your questions will get answered. This book exceeded my expectations and took me on one thrilling and entertaining ride.

One of the things I’ve come to love about this series is the authors creativity and the way that she contiues to build on to the world we’ve come to know and love. The plot is intricate and keeps you guessing. There is a lot going on, but in the best way possible. The action and danger keeps you on your toes and will keep your eyes glued to the pages!!

And then we have our dynamic duo: Raphael and Elena. I fell in love with these two when there were first introduced to The Guild Hunter Series and with each story, I have fallen harder for them. Their relationship is inspiring. They are partners in all things and only become stronger as time goes on. There is nothing these two can’t do or overcome. They are passion filled, unstoppable team, that will just leave you begging for more.

Archangel’s War was everything I was hoping for and then some. With a world in chaos and a looming war, Archangel’s War is destined to keep your eyes glued to the pages. There was action and intensity, war and suspense, romance and steam. I had a ton of questions and couldn’t wait to have them all answered. I loved seeing this story unravel and come together.

Archangel’s War is a thrilling and exciting ride. It ties up all of the loose ends and I couldn’t be happier with how things ended. I’m not sure if there is going to more to this series or not. I’m happy with how things ended, but at the same time, I’m hopeful that this won’t be the last that we see of these character or the Guild Hunter World…..

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher and NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Excerpt From Archangel’s War by Nalini Singh

“We watch,” the Primary said. “We protect.”

But things were altering in front of them, a faint glow emanating from where the aeclari had been before the filaments obscured both Raphael’s body and Elena’s chrysalis.

Beyond the balcony doors now partially covered with the snow silk of the filaments, the Bluebell turned. His eyes widened at seeing the ocean of filaments, the glow. But before he could open the closed doors, a familiar voice entered all their minds.

Leave now. It was an order from an archangel. Clear the skies above. Empty the land around. GO.

The Legion were moving even as the last word echoed in their minds. They were Raphael’s Legion, Elena’s Legion, and they had been given an order. The Bluebell wasn’t Legion. He was one of the Seven. Unique. With his own mind.

Torment wrenched his features, but he inclined his head, and the Primary saw him form the word, “Sire.”

All of them moved.

The Bluebell dropped to the grass, then ran inside the house.

The Legion broke into four parts and swept the area. Winged beings were already flying toward the river at high speed, their faces stark and their jaws determined. The Legion dropped down in front of cars moving on the nearest road. The cars were not so close to the aeclari’s home, but the archangel hadn’t said how far to clear.

When the first two cars halted with a screech that caused a burning scent to rise to their nostrils, the Legion wrenched the doors open and hauled the startled vampires out. A group of the Legion rose into the air, two to a vampire. Another group found four humans in a third car, a vampire’s cattle heading home. The scared cattle whimpered at being taken by the Legion but didn’t struggle. Neither did the vampires after they saw the angels racing from the Enclave to the water.

Golden light poured out from the windows of the aeclari’s home.

Many of the angels streaming over the water held vampires or humans in their arms, getting their households out of danger. The Bluebell was one of the last to fly out of the Enclave, and though the Legion did not speak to many outside of the aeclari, they spoke to him: Are the aeclari’s people safe? This was important. The Legion knew. The aeclari had bonds to those who lived in the house.

Yes, I got them out. The Bluebell, who could fly faster than the Primary and sometimes raced with the cars of the Blade and the Viper, fell off the cliff with his wings licked by a golden light so bright that it was difficult to face. In one hand, he held a large rectangular thing, in his other items they recognized.

Several of the Legion flew to him, and took the things. They did not understand things, but these were linked to the aeclari in their mind. We will fly them to the Tower.

Most of the angels kept on flying toward Manhattan, and those of the Legion that carried vampires or mortals kept on going, too. But the Primary turned once he was over the center of the river, as did those of his brethren who flew only their own bodies.

The Bluebell halted in front of them, the silvery blue of his wings spread and his face awash in the burning golden light that had turned the river to gold.

And the light, it grew, and grew, and grew.

Until at last, the light was so bright that it became fire and even the Primary couldn’t bear it and threw up his arm in front of his eyes. The last thing he saw was an intense white brightness.

© Copyright 2019 by Nalini Singh

Review: Love on Lexington Avenue (Central Park Pact #2) by Lauren Layne

From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne comes the second delightfully charming installment in the Central Park Pact series, following a young widow whose newfound cynicism about love is challenged by a sexy, rough-around-the-edges contractor. 

There’s never a bad time to fall in love in the city, right? Wrong. According to the recently-widowed Claire Hayes, it’s very, verywrong. In fact, after finding out her late husband was a liar and a cheat, Claire’s convinced there’s never a good time for romantic notions. Determined to rid her home of anything that reminds her of her philandering husband, Claire sets out to redesign her entire Upper East Side brownstone and make it her own. But when she meets gruff and often-cantankerous contractor Scott Turner and realizes not all men are scumbags, Claire must decide if she’s ready to risk her heart again.

Scott needs a change of pace from the corporate offices and swanky hotels he’s been building lately, and bluntly makes it clear to Claire that he only took on her house for that reason, adding that he has no patience for a pampered, damaged princess on his job site. But when long work days soon turn into even longer nights, their mutual wariness morphs into something more complicated—a grudging respect, and maybe even attraction…? Scott knows he’s not one to settle down, but then why can’t he bring himself to put the finishing touches on Claire’s house and move on to the next job?

Filled with laugh-out-loud scenes that blend perfectly with the touching friendships Layne brings to life on the page, this “hugely entertaining” (USA TODAY) novel is perfect for fans of Lauren Weisberger.

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MY REVIEW

Love on Lexington Avenue is the second book in the Central Park Pact Series and it follows the story of Claire and Scott. Now, if you remember from the first book, Claire is actually the widow of Brayden and it was Brayden’s death that brought this whole story into motion. When Brayden passed away, Claire might have lost her husband, but she gained two amazing friends and has discovered the woman she lost along the way.

When we meet up with Claire in Love on Lexington Aveune, Claire is ready for the next phase of her life. She’s tired of the status quo and is ready to make some colorful changes with her life. And what better way to start this change, then a home renovation. What Claire didn’t plan on was Scott…..Scott is looking for a change of pace from corporate renovation and despite his reservations, working with Claire might just be what the doctor ordered…..

Overall, I found this book to be a really fun and enjoyable read. I loved getting to know Claire and see how things with Brayden truley effected her. I loved that despite everything she had been through, she came out stronger than ever and formed an unbreakable friendship with two women that she should hate. I feel like Claire’s character came a long way since we first met her. She wasn’t just this meek and fraigle thing. She was strong and ready to take on the next phase of her life. She might not have been looking for love, but you know how the saying goes, it hits you when you least expect it.

Speaking of love, I really enjoyed Scott and Claire together. Of course they butted heads in the beginning, but the tension and chemsitry was there. Both Scott and Claire had their own baggage and weren’t ready to put their hearts on the line. Their romance had a nice slow burn to it. I enjoyed watching them try to figure things out and fight for their happily ever after.

Love on Lexington Avenue was a terrific read from beginning to end. I loved getting to catch up with Claire and the girls. I enjoyed getting swept up in all that was Scott and Claire. Claire’s story wasn’t just a romance, but it was also a journey of self discovery and letting go. This story has real, strong characters. It is sweet, yet swoon-worthy all at the same time and has just the right balance of steam and angst. In the end, Love on Lexington Avenue will leave you with a smile on your face and butterflies in your belly. This is the pefect book to spend your summer afternoon getting lost in. And I for one, can not wait to see what lies ahead for us with the next book in this series!

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

Review: How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne

These men are dark, bold, and brave. And there is only one woman who can bring them to their knees…

Famed and brilliant, Lady Alexandra Lane has always known how to look out for to herself. But nobody would ever expect that she has darkness in her past—one that she pays a blackmailer to keep buried. Now, with her family nearing bankruptcy, Alexandra strikes upon a solution: Get married to one of the empire’s most wealthy eligible bachelors. Even if he does have the reputation of a devil.

LOVE TAKES NO PRISONERS

Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, is seeking revenge and the first step is securing a bride. Winning a lady’s hand is not so easy, however, for a man known as the Terror of Torcliff. Then, Alexandra enters his life like a bolt of lightning. When she proposes marriage, Piers knows that, like him, trouble haunts her footsteps. But her gentleness, sharp wit, independent nature, and incredible beauty awakens every fierce desire within him. He will do whatever it takes to keep her safe in his arms.

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MY REVIEW

“Your heart will learn to beat again. Until that happens, I’ll protect you. I promise.”

“Alexandra Lane. A confounding dichotomy of iniquity and innocence.”

“I’m more of a monster than any scars or scandals I claim.”

I’ve finally found a historical romance that I LOVE!!! If you’ve been following my reviews for a while, then you know that historical romance is a genre that I really struggle with. That being said, I’ve just been trucking along, hoping that eventually I would find one that would make me forget that I was reading a historical romance and just get swept away in the story. I am over the moon to have finally found an author who has made me do just that.

From the moment I picked up How To Love A Duke in Ten Days, I was hooked. The story started off with a bang and kept me glued to the pages. This story was well written and captivating. The characters were intriguing and left me begging for more. I loved the encounters between Piers and Alexandra. To some, Piers may seem like a beast of a man. I mean, he totally comes off as harsh and demanding, but when it comes to Alexandra, there is just something that makes him want to be gentle. Is he perfect? No. He makes some pretty awful assumptions about things. However, once he learns the truth, he is so sweet and so devoted to Alexandra. He will protect her at all costs and will worship her beyond her wildest dreams.

How To Love A Duke in Ten Days took my by surprise in the best possible way. I loved getting lost in Alexandra and Piers story. Their story is filled with romance, danger, secrets & lies, surprising twists & turns and of course some good angst. I loved that this story was sexy, yet not overly so. I will warn you that this story does touch on some sensitive subject matter, but the author did a brilliant job handling it.

All in all, this book was a fabulous read from beginning to end. This is my first book by author Kerrigan Byrne and it most certainly won’t be my last. She has made me a fan of historical romance and I can not wait to check out more from this author in the future.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, via St. Martin’s Press & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

EXCERPT

Chapter One

Maynemouth, Devonshire, 1890 Ten years later

Alexander,

Accept the invitation to Castle Redmayne. I’m in danger. I need you.

—Frank

Alexandra Lane had spent the entire train ride from Lon- don to Devonshire meticulously pondering those fourteen words for two separate reasons.

The first, she had been unable to stop fretting for Fran- cesca, who tended to give more than the appropriate amount of context. The terse, vague note Alexandra now held was more of a warning than the message contained therein.

The second, she could no longer afford a first-class, pri- vate railcar, and had, for the last several tense hours, been forced to share her vestibule face-to-face with a rough- featured, stocky man with shoulders made for labor.

Alone.

He’d attempted polite conversation at first, which she’d rebuffed with equal civility by feigning interest in her cor- respondence. By now, however, they were both painfully aware she needn’t take four stops to read two letters.

It was terribly rude, she knew. Her carpetbag remained clutched in her fist the entire time, except when her hand would wander into its depths to palm the tiny pistol she always carried. The sounds of the other passengers in ad- joining vestibules didn’t make her feel safer, per se.

But she knew they would hear her scream, and that pro- vided some relief.

For a woman who’d spent a great deal of the last ten years in the company of men, she’d thought these painful moments would have relented by now.

Alas, she’d become a mistress of manipulating a situa- tion so, even if she had to endure the company of men without a female companion, there would be more than one man. In the circles she tended to frequent, people be- haved when in company.

It had worked thus far.

Alexandra braced herself against the slowing of the train, breathing a silent prayer of relief that they’d finally arrived. She’d been terrified that if she’d glanced up once, she’d be forced into conversation with her unwanted com- panion.

Rain wept against the coach window, and the shadows of the tears painted macabre little serpents on the conflict- ing documents in her hands. One, a wedding invitation. The other, Francesca’s alarming note.

A month past, she’d have wagered her entire inheritance against Francesca Cavendish’s being the first of the Red Rogues to capitulate to the bonds of matrimony.

A month past, she’d assumed she’d had an inheritance to wager.

Their little society had seemed destined to live up to the promise they’d once made as young, disenchanted girls to never marry.

Until the invitation to an engagement masquerade— given by the Duke of Redmayne—had arrived the same day of her friend’s cryptic and startling note.

The invitation had been equally as ambiguous, stating that the future duchess of Redmayne would be unveiled, as it were, at the ball. Included in Alexandra’s particular envelope was a request for her to attend as a bridesmaid.

The subsequent plea for help from Francesca—Frank— had arrived in a tiny envelope with the Red Rogue seal they’d commissioned some years prior.

Alexandra hadn’t even known Francesca had returned from her romps about the Continent. Last she’d heard, the countess had been in Morocco, doing reconnaissance of some sort. Nothing in her letters had mentioned a suitor. Not a serious one, in any case. Certainly not a duke.

Francesca had a talent for mischief and a tendency to interpret danger as mere adventure.

So, what could possibly frighten her fearless friend?

Marriage, obviously, Alexandra thought with a smirk.

A risky venture, to be sure.

From How to Love a Duke in Ten Days. Copyright © 2019 by Kerrigan Byrne and reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Paperbacks.

How to Love a Duke in Ten Days Q&A

Q: What inspired you to write How to Love a Duke in Ten Days?

A:  I’ve always been one of those women who have enjoyed fierce female friendships. I think that soulmates, even for heterosexual women, can be just as necessary with other women as with men, and a real hero must not just love and respect you, but also your tribe. I wanted to write a series where historical heroines could truly have it all, education, dreams, businesses, wealth, genius, revenge, hot sex, AND true love. Where the sacrifices were made on their behalf instead by them, and where their heroes learn to lift them up in all ways, heal their pains, calm their fears, become their best friends, and protect them with what I hope is a great balance between alpha hotness and progressive sensitivity.

Q: Is there one thing you would like readers to take away from this story?

A: That’s tough because I packed a lot in there! I would say the one thing from this book, specifically, is that happiness is attainable against the odds, even when overcoming the worst that people can do to one another. Even though I’m a grown up and a cynic, I still like to write books that remind me that true love conquers all, because that love can come from so many people.

Q: Can you describe your typical day writing this book?

A: This book was especially difficult for me to write, so I spent a great deal of time in my bathrobe. I would get up, my fantastic husband would make me coffee, I’d call my critique partner and we’d do a bit of brainstorming, and I’d write and rewrite for hours, stress, cry, throw things, walk the dog, eat, snack, eat some more, facebook way too much, and then finish under word count, binge a tv show or a book until I stared at the ceiling into the wee hours. Oh, and there was drinking in there at regular intervals.

Glamorous, I know!

Q: Describe the hero and heroine of How to Love a Duke in Ten Days in three words each.

A: The Duke of Redmayne:          Wary. Wounded. Wicked.

Lady Alexandra Lane:                        Brave. Brilliant. Beautiful.

Q: What is the one thing that the heroine, Alexandra, can’t live without?

A: She cannot live without her two dearest friends in the entire world, Miss Cecelia Teague, and Lady Francesca Cavendish. They literally buried a body for her, and would defend her to the death.

Q: What was your hardest scene to write in How to Love a Duke in Ten Days? Your favorite?

A: As with many (most) of my novels, the prologues are the hardest to write, and read, I suspect. Usually I take the characters to the very edge of their breaking point, often times pushing them over so they have what seems like insurmountable conflicts to overcome both internally and externally. So, for this book, Alexandra’s assault was the most difficult thing to get through, and boy did I enjoy being able to help Piers put her back together, because he was just the perfect hero for her. Tender, empathetic, a good sense of humor, and a large dose of protective alphaness.

Q: Why do you write historical romance? 

A:  I’ve always romanticized the past. I can’t help it. I love the pace and the aesthetic, the gowns and the suits and the manners and the manors. I love to do historical research and it’s so fun to see how much we are influenced by the past and how, even though so much has changed through the centuries, people really haven’t. Also, it’s fun to play with language, mystery, and sex in a time when a scandal was still possible. *wink.

Q: Is there another particular author that inspires you or that you enjoy reading? 

A: There is a LIST! I would say in historical romance, though, it’s always always Lisa Kleypas. She has a grasp on the characterization of historical folks that I can never hope to attain. I’m just in awe of her every word.

Q: Where do you go or what resources do you use to make sure your novels are historically correct? 

A: I love to find books about a time period at B&N or my local bookshops. I go to Harper’s Bazaar for fashion, and a slew of Victorian references for the time period. I do read blogs and sometimes consult with historians and experts.

Q: Did you learn anything surprising while researching for this novel?

A: Many things! I learned how truly difficult it was to attain an education as a woman as little as a hundred years ago. It’s really incredible how far we’ve come in a century.

Q: What do you do when faced with writer’s block, if you ever are? 

A: Oh man. I often am. I usually try to shake it loose with a brainstorming conversation with a few friends I have who always seem to be able to unstick me. I rely heavily on the creativity of others as well as my own.

Q: How did you feel the first time you realized one of your books was a big success? 

A: I didn’t believe it. It seems surreal every time I truly realize that a story I wrote entertained another human. Let alone more than one. I’m like… they paid to read it? WHAT?

Q: What’s next for the Devil You Know series?

A: I’m especially excited for the next book ALL SCOT AND BOTHERED because it’s about Alexandra’s best friend the curvy vicar’s daughter, Cecelia Teague. She inherits London’s most infamous and successful brothel, and one imposing, surly Scottish enemy along with it. She and Lord Ramsay, the Lord Chief Justice with an axe to grind against her establishment, can’t be in a room together without the sparks flying. I can’t think about this book without smiling.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

A: I hope you enjoy this trio of roguish redheads as much as I enjoyed writing them!

Author Bio:

Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, USA Today bestseller Kerrigan Byrne uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in every book. She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast. Her Victorian Rebels novels include The Highwayman and The Highlander.

Review: Sapphire Flames (Hidden Legacy #4) by Ilona Andrews

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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews comes an enthralling new trilogy set in the Hidden Legacy world, where magic means power, and family bloodlines are the new currency of society…

In a world where magic is the key to power and wealth, Catalina Baylor is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, and the Head of her House. Catalina has always been afraid to use her unique powers, but when her friend’s mother and sister are murdered, Catalina risks her reputation and safety to unravel the mystery.

But behind the scenes powerful forces are at work, and one of them is Alessandro Sagredo, the Italian Prime who was once Catalina’s teenage crush. Dangerous and unpredictable, Alessandro’s true motives are unclear, but he’s drawn to Catalina like a moth to a flame.

To help her friend, Catalina must test the limits of her extraordinary powers, but doing so may cost her both her House–and her heart.

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MY REVIEW

“Sometimes when you search the night, you’ll find monsters in the dark.”

Having read only one author book by this author, Ilona Andrews is still a pretty new author to me. But, if Sapphire Flames is any indication of this author’s writing style, then they have made a fan out of me for life!

While Sapphire Flames is technically the fourth book in The Hidden Legacy Series, it kicks off the start of a brand new trilogy featuring Catalina & Alessandro. As far as whether or not I think you need the other books in this series to understand this one, I’m going to go with no. I think you would be ok with starting with this one. I didn’t feel lost at all, but then again, that might just be me.

Let’s get to Sapphire Flames! Well, I absolutley loved it! This story hit the ground running and there was never a dull moment. I was sucked into Catalina and Alessandro’s story instantly. I couldn’t read the pages fast enough and never wanted to put it down. This book had it all. It had a strong lead heroine and a hero that held an air of mystery about him, yet his actions left you swooning. The banter between these two was top notch. Now, let me just say, this story is not heavy on the romance at all. Yes, there is some tension and definitely some swoon-worthy moments, but this story was not centered around the romance. Instead, it was centered around the mystery that needed to be solved and family.

Sapphire Flames was action packed and totally thrilling. I loved getting to know the main and side characters. I thought the plot was fantastic and totally original. I thought the world building was creative and imaginative. I loved the fantasy and magical elements.  The pacing of the story kept my eyes glued to the pages right until the heart-pounding ending. Speaking of endings, this one will totally leave you dying for more!! All in all, a terrific start to this new trilogy. I had a fantastic time diving into this novel and absolutely loved the characters. I’m thrilled to have discovered this author and look forward to seeing where Catalina and Alessandro’s story will take us next!

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher Harper Collins & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: Butterfly in Frost by Sylvia Day

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About the Book
 
Title: Butterfly in Frost
Author: Sylvia Day
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance

From #1 New York Times bestselling phenomenon Sylvia Day comes a hotly anticipated and passionate new love story.

Once, I would never have imagined myself here. But I’m settled now. In a place I love, in a home I renovated, spending time with new friends I adore, and working a job that fulfills me. I am reconciling the past and laying the groundwork for the future.

Then Garrett Frost moves in next door.

He’s obstinate and too bold, a raging force of nature that disrupts the careful order of my life. I recognize the ghosts that haunt him, the torment driving him. Garrett would be risky in any form, but wounded, he’s far more dangerous. I fear I’m too fragile for the storm raging inside him, too delicate to withstand the pain that buffets him. But he’s too determined…and too tempting.

And sometimes hope soars above even the iciest desolation.

Emotional and heartrending, Butterfly in Frost marks a brilliant return by global sensation Sylvia Day, the #1 international multimillion bestselling author of the Crossfire saga.

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MY REVIEW

Butterfly in Frost is the hotly aniticpated and exciting new release from author Sylvia Day. Now, I don’t know about all of you, but I have been waiting and I mean waiting for some new deliciousness from this author. And I gotta tell you, I couldn’t have been more excited to dive into Butterfly in Frost.

Butterfly in Frost is a quick, sexy and passionate read. The characters are intriguing and will suck you into their story right away. Teagan intrigued me and I wanted to know more. And when Garrett enters the picutre, all bets are off. Garrett challenges Teagan in ways that she is wholly unprepared for. He is everything she shouldn’t want and he totally knocks her world off its axis. Even with all of that, there is just something about Garrett that calls to her. Their connection is deep and intense. Garrett’s ghosts call to her, almost like a siren song. It is just too hopeless for Teagan to stay away…

Overall, I thought this book was a quick and enjoyable read. I really enjoyed getting to know Garrett and Teagan. I liked their chemistry and enjoyed seeing them go through the paces. I will say that while this book was a short read, I didn’t really like the pacing of the story. I did feel like it dragged at times, and that might just be me. The only other issue I had was the ending. Now, don’t get me wrong, the ending threw me for a total loop. I mean, I DID NOT SEE THIS COMING. I was totally shocked and surprised. However, I was quickly disappointed because there was like only 4% of the book left. I feel like while the story did come to end, there is still a lot that needs to be resolved. I have a ton of questions that I want answered and I have no clue if there will be another book or not!! I mean, the ending of this story took off at light speed and I am just dying/hoping that there will be more. I know I’m being totally vague here, but ugh! The only thing I can say is read it for yourself and let me know what you think.

Butterfly in Frost will take you emotions on a whirlwind adventure. This is a story that readers are either going to love or going to hate. For me, I thought it was a solid story, I just had a couple of issues with it. In the end, this story nailed the sexy factor and left me wanting more.

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

Excerpt: 

Roxy bounces on her feet with excitement. “Les and Marge sold their house.”

I blink. “I didn’t know they were selling.”

She laughs and heads toward the front door. “That’s the thing. They weren’t.”

“Wait, what?” I hurry after her as she steps outside.

I look to the right at my home, a lovingly restored butterfly-roofed midcentury, then on to the traditional house just beyond it that belongs—belonged—to Les and Marge. Including Roxy’s, all three of our homes have unique lots set between the homes that line the street and the Sound, affording us unhindered views of the water as well as exceptional privacy—all within a twenty-minute drive of the airport.

Roxy shortens the length of her stride to allow me to catch up, then glances over at me. “The day after you flew to New York, a Range Rover pulled into their driveway, and the guy inside offered them cash to close—and move out—in fourteen days.”

My step falters, and Minnie gets momentarily tangled in her leash. The dog shoots me what I would describe as an irritated look, then keeps trotting forward. “That’s crazy.”

“Isn’t it? Les wouldn’t say how much the offer was, but I’m thinking it was huge.”

We march up the inclined driveway, my head tilted back to take in the houses scaling the hillside. Designed with big windows to maximize the view, the homes have a look of wide-eyed wonder. Our little stretch of the Sound used to be a secret, but with the housing boom taking over Seattle and Tacoma, we’ve been discovered. Many residences are undergoing major renovation to suit the tastes of new owners.

Reaching the road, we turn left. To the right is a dead end.

“Well, if they’re happy,” I say, “I’m happy for them.”

“They’re overwhelmed. It was a lot to happen all at once, but I think they’re happy with their decision.” Roxanne stops when Bella does, and we wait as the two dogs mark one of their usual spots on the gravel edging the asphalt. There are no curbs on the streets in our neighborhood and no sidewalks. Just beautiful lawns and a profusion of flowering shrubs.

“We all tried prying information out of them,” she goes on, “but they weren’t sharing anything about the sale.” She gives me a sidelong glance. “But they did share a bit about the buyer.”

“Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Because Mike and I both think the buyer is someone famous. A film director maybe. Or an artist. Can you imagine? First Emily, a bestselling author. Then you, a reality-TV surgeon. Now this guy! Maybe we’re sitting on the new Malibu—beachside living without wildfires or state income tax!”

The mention of Roxy’s husband, Mike, coaxes an inner smile. A New York transplant like me, he adds a welcome touch of the life I left behind to the reality I’ve since created for myself—a reality that’s just been rocked by the loss of neighbors I like.

“What are the clues you’re working with?” I ask, deciding to play along. If I’ve learned anything the past year, it’s to accept the things I cannot change. A tough task for a control freak like me.

“Les pointed out to this guy that he hadn’t even seen the inside of the house. The guy said he didn’t need to. He knew already that ‘the light is perfect.’ I mean, who would say that? Gotta be someone who’s in visual arts, right?”

“Maybe,” I agree tentatively, disquieted by the unexpected conversation. The road rises sharply before us, the incline steep enough to put a little burn in my thighs. “Doesn’t mean he’s famous, though.”

“That’s the thing.” Her words carry a note of breathlessness. “Les wouldn’t give numbers, but he did say it was crazy the guy didn’t just buy that huge compound at the end of the street. That house is listed for three and a half million!”

My mind staggers at the thought. Les and Marge have—had—a beautiful home, but it’s not worth anywhere near that much.

“I think I saw the buyer once through that big arched window in the living room,” Roxy goes on. “The blonde with him was a looker. Supermodel skinny with legs for days.”

I’m panting when we reach the top; Roxy, who hits a gym most days of the week, is not.

A quarter mile farther, there’s a street to the right leading to Dash Point. Beyond that and straight ahead, the road slopes back down and around until it’s at water level. Redondo Beach is there, as is Salty’s, a restaurant on stilts in the water with expansive views of Poverty Bay and beyond. I’m about to wax poetic about Salty’s seafood chowder when a runner dashes around the corner at a full sprint. His sudden appearance rattles me. A closer look makes me freeze midstride. My breath locks in my lungs.

There are too many things to register at once, so my mind attempts to absorb the whole man. Dressed only in black shorts and shoes, he is a visual feast of deeply tanned skin, intricate sleeves of tattooed art, and sweat-slicked, flexing musculature.

And his face. Sculpted. Square-jawed. Brutally, breathlessly handsome.

Roxy, now a few feet in front of me, gives a low whistle. “Hot damn.”

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Review: Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker

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The bestselling author of The Simple Wild and Keep Her Safe and “master of steamy romance” (Kirkus Reviews) delivers a sizzling novel about an ambitious and high-powered executive who reconnects with her first love: the boy who broke her heart. 

Life is a mixed bag for Piper Calloway.

On the one hand, she’s a twenty-nine-year-old VP at her dad’s multibillion-dollar real estate development firm, and living the high single life with her two best friends in a swanky downtown penthouse. On the other hand, she’s considered a pair of sexy legs in a male-dominated world and constantly has to prove her worth. Plus she’s stuck seeing her narcissistic ex-fiancé—a fellow VP—on the other side of her glass office wall every day.

Things get exponentially more complicated for Piper when she runs into Kyle Miller—the handsome new security guard at Calloway Group, and coincidentally the first love of her life.

The guy she hasn’t seen or heard from since they were summer camp counselors together. The guy from the wrong side of the tracks. The guy who apparently doesn’t even remember her name.

Piper may be a high-powered businesswoman now, but she soon realizes that her schoolgirl crush is still alive and strong, and crippling her concentration. What’s more, despite Kyle’s distant attitude, she’s convinced their reunion isn’t at all coincidental, and that his feelings for her still run deep. And she’s determined to make him admit to them, no matter the consequences.

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MY REVIEW

“I snap, because I’m feeling like a fool right now. A sixteen-year-old pining fool. A fool still in love. But, I have to accept that all I’m in love with is a memory.”

Say You Still Love Me is a sweet, second chance romance. It’s a story of firsts and one unforgettable summer.

Say You Still Love Me follows the story of Piper and Kyle. When we first meet up with Piper, we see that she’s made quite a name for herself. She’s prepping to take over her father’s company and shares an amazing apartment with her two best friends. The downside, she’s working in a man’s world and has to try extra hard to prove that she’s got what it takes to get the job done. Piper’s life is filled with challenges, and little does she know that her world is about to get turned upside down one more time. A blast from her past just so happens to be the newest security guard of her office building. The boy who had all of her firsts and disappeared without another word. Now, she has to see him every single day. She’s got a lot of unanswered questions, but can’t get Kyle off of her mind. She’s determined to make him own up to his actions, but only time will tell if she can handle what Kyle has got to tell her….

Say You Still Love Me was a quick and enjoyable read for me. I loved getting swept up in Kyle and Piper’s story. I really enjoyed getting to see their past and seeing how Piper met her current roommates. Who would have known that one summer would not only break her heart, but provide her with long lasting friendships?

I really enjoyed the grown up version of Piper. While she still wanted to prove herself to her father and make him proud, she was much more mature and direct. She didn’t hold back on what she was thinking and wasn’t going to let anyone take advantage of her. And then we have Kyle. I absolutely adored him. He was the boy from the wrong side of town, who had a heart of gold. Even as an adult, his past still haunted him, but that didn’t stop him from trying to be what Piper deserved. Sure, he made some bad decisions, but when I finally got all the answers, I had a better understanding of why Kyle acted the way he did. He wasn’t perfect, and I think that made me love him even more.

As I previously stated, I really enjoyed getting to know Piper and Kyle. Not just as adults, but also as young adults. I loved seeing them fall for one another and then be reunited once again. The second time around, their story had more of a slow burn to it. Yes, they knew each other. Yes, the chemistry was still there. But, both of them were afraid to jump in with both feet and it really felt good watching them try to figure their feelings out.

Overall, I found this book to be a really enjoyable read. It entertained me and had me devouring all the words. I loved the bad bad/wrong side of the tracks vibe. Piper and Kyle couldn’t have been more opposite, but somehow they just worked. The road to happily ever after for these two had quite a few bumps in the road, but I loved every single second of it. In the end, this story left me with a smile on my face and totally satisfied with the story of Piper & Kyle….

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*