Wednesday, April 27, 2022

The Scarlet Rose by Valia Lind

 

Synopsis:

A mafia heiress. A desperate bargain. A cursed wolf prince without hope.

Nikita has one goal in life: to take her father’s place in the Bratva syndicate. While her sisters want nothing more than advantageous marriages to wealthy men, Nikita wants control of her own life.

But when her father is tricked into a bargain with Gavriil, the prince of Skazka, to protect her family's legacy, Nikita has no choice but to steal the portal ring and take his place.

Within the walls of the castle, she finds a spoiled royal, hallways filled with strange statues, and a magic she didn’t know existed.

Tasked with finding a way to break the curse, Nikita spends hours pouring over ancient texts, looking for answers — and a way out.

Her one reprieve is her music. After finding the hidden piano room, she takes her refuge there. Soon, so does Gavriil. Suddenly, the broody enemy is becoming a friend—or something more.

Passions ignite and Nikita must do all she can to save the prince and his people from the curse that could destroy them.
Time is running out. Each day, Gavriil turns more and more into a wolf, losing his human emotions and memories.

If Nikita can’t break the curse, there will be no trace of Gavriil left, and he’ll become the monster he’s always feared himself to be—forfeiting his humanity, and heart, forever.

My Review: 5 Stars

Y'all. I did it again. For the most part I went into the book blind. All I knew about the book was this... A mafia heiress. A desperate bargain. A cursed wolf prince without hope.

To say I was intrigued would be an understatement. I quickly downloaded the book and dove right in. I absolutely loved this unique retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I was hooked from the very beginning and had the hardest time putting it down. I really did not want the book to end. 

Nikita and Gavriil are fantastic! They're both loyal, kind, loving, fiercely protective of the ones they love, and will do anything in their power to make sure the people they care about most are happy. I loved their witty banter and their back and forth. Gavriil didn't know what to do with Nikita at times. It was hilarious! I have to say that these two are pretty perfect for each other and I loved seeing them get their HEA.

I was feeling all the feels with this book. I absolutely love when an author can literally make me feel the same way the characters are feeling. It makes the book more real to me, like I'm sitting right there with them experiencing everything they are. It's the best feeling in the world! 

This is my first book by Ms. Lind and I will definitely be reading more by her. If I'm being honest, she had me at her author's note in the very beginning. Not only did it help me to become fully invested in the book, but it made it even that much more real to me. It was amazing. I definitely cannot wait to get my hands on the rest of this series! 

As for my casting, I'm kinda really loving these two. What do you think?!

Monday, April 25, 2022

The Bridesmaid by Jess Mastorakos

 

Synopsis:

I’ve heard she’s always a bridesmaid and never a bride. But I’d make her mine, if she’d let me.

Three years ago, I left South Carolina and the woman I loved without looking back. Okay, that’s a lie. I’ve spent a fair amount of time imagining myself lounging under that Spanish moss with her.

Back then, we didn’t have a care in the world. It was simple. Easy. Right. In fact, I’d been about to propose. But then I found out I had a kid I didn’t know about. And just like that, everything changed.

Now, as a single dad, I’m back in town with one thing on my mind: Make it right with Layla, or go down trying.

My Review: 5 Stars

Oh my heart! Y'all! I can't even with this book right now! I absolutely adored it! There's just something about a small town, second chance, single parent romance that has me letting out all the little dreamy sighs. If you ask me, this book is absolute perfection!

Layla's heart was crushed into a million pieces the day Zac broke up with her and then disappeared without a trace. Left to wonder what in the world just happened, Layla finds herself desperate to get over Zac. She has spent the last 3 years going on endless dates, but forgetting him and moving on is proving to be impossible.

The heart wants, what the heart wants and Zac's wants Layla. He knows that he screwed up big time by leaving with no explanation but Fate has offered him a second chance with Layla. Giving up is not an option. They were meant to be together and he's going to do everything in his power to make that happen.

I knew the moment I started this book that I was going to have the hardest time putting it down. I found myself sneaking in reading whenever I could, staying up way past my bedtime, and waking up even earlier to see these two finally get their HEA. 

These two love fiercely and are not afraid to express their feelings, whether good or bad. Gah! I seriously love Layla and Zac! And I can't forget little Grayson! He's the cutest kid ever! I loved the relationship he had with his dad and Layla. So. Sweet!

I think this is now my new favorite book in this series. As soon as I finished it, I wanted to read it all over again. I really didn't want this book to end! I can't wait to see more of these three in Lindy and Beau's book. Y'all. I have a feeling we're going to be in for a wild ride when it comes to those two! Eeeeeeek!

Ms. Mastorakos has done it again! She never ceases to amaze me. I am in awe of her talent. She has a way of capturing the reader and not letting them go until the very end. There's a reason why she's one of my favorite authors. I can't wait to see what she has in store for us next!

And of course, we can't forget my casting. I know I say this a lot but, I am seriously in love with these two! What do you think?

Sunday, April 24, 2022

The Unseen Heir by Kenley Davidson


Synopsis:

Against all odds, Leisa has returned home to Farhall with news of Garimore’s treachery.

But her reception is far from the hero’s welcome she imagined. Instead, she finds herself a prisoner—to the growing fears and suspicions of a man she once considered a father.

To escape, she must forsake everything she once believed in, and leave behind all hope of answers about her past. But if she stays, it means betraying the fragile trust of the man who saved her life in Garimore.

Torn between her duty and her debt, Leisa is forced to flee with Kyrion, leaving behind the only home she can remember for the uncertain sanctuary of Dunmaren—Kingdom of Shadows, home of the night elves. There Leisa must confront her growing feelings for Kyrion, her fear of her own power, and the hostility of a people on the brink of war.

When dire news arrives from Farhall, both Leisa and Kyrion must decide where their ultimate loyalties lie. Can Kyrion find a path to peace that does not require him to give up the only woman he has ever loved? Or will Leisa have no choice but to save the kingdom she still loves at the cost of her own heart?

My Review: 5 Stars

Holy. Crap! Y'all. What in the world just happened?! Seriously! What. Just. Happened?! I am speechless! And that hasn't happened for awhile.

You want to know what else hasn't happened for awhile? Me staying up waaaaay past midnight to read a book. Unlike the first book, I had no problem getting sucked into this book. I had the hardest time putting it down. I finally gave into sleep close to 3am... only to wake up around 6:40amish to keep reading. I needed to know what would happen next!

Y'all. Leisa and Kyrion are freaking AMAZING! They quickly became one of my favorite couples of all time. Their loyalty, love, determination, sacrifice, and honor are just a few things I love about them. I loved seeing their bond strengthen, loved seeing them grow as individuals as well as together. I cannot wait to see more of these two on their journey as the series continues.

I'm not going to lie. I am torn on whether or not to start book 3 now or wait. I know for a fact it ends in a cliffhanger and book 4 doesn't come out for 2 months. I want to continue, but I know I'll be furious with myself if I do! Gaaaaaah! The struggle is real y'all!

Ms. Davidson is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us next!

And of course we can't forget my casting. I'm still loving these two!

Saturday, April 23, 2022

The Faceless Mage by Kenley Davidson


Synopsis:

He’ll protect her with his last breath…
Until she becomes his next target.


Leisa’s ambitions used to be simple. Guard the princess. Hide her magic. Wait for her family to return.

But all of that changes when her king demands that she use her unique abilities to spy on the rival kingdom of Garimore.

Alone, far from home, and living a lie that grows more perilous by the day, Leisa’s task is complicated by her most dangerous enemy yet—the masked assassin known only as the Raven.

Everyone in the Five Thrones knows to fear him, but the Raven is not what Leisa expected. As silent as he is lethal, he provokes her curiosity as much as her fear, and hides secrets she’s determined to learn.

When her already precarious mission takes a deadly turn, Leisa must evade the Raven himself if she is to succeed. It’s never been done before, but Leisa is nothing if not stubborn. And if she doesn’t become the first to escape his blade, her entire kingdom will pay the price—in blood.

My Review: 4 Stars

So I did a thing. When choosing a book, I usually read the synopsis and several reviews before diving in. This time, however, I did not. Y'all. Can I just tell you how scary that was me?! I had no clue what I was getting into and no clue what to expect! 🤣

I adored Leisa and the Raven. I felt connected to them from the very beginning. I really enjoyed watching their relationship develop. It was definitely slow going because both of them have trust issues, which is understandable since they are both being used by their kings. Slow going or not, I absolutely LOVED the end of the book! Y'all. It was AMAZING!

I'm not going to lie, the beginning of this book dragged for me. I struggled for the first 45% of the book. But then it started picking up. I was sitting on the edge of my seat around 80% and then I blinked and it was over. I may or may not have been staring at my kindle for a minute or two before I realized it was indeed over. It ends in a cliffhanger and I'm SO glad book 2 is out because I cannot WAIT to dive in. I need to know what happens with these two!

This is my second book by Ms. Davidson and I'm definitely looking forward to reading more by her!

As for my casting... this was a no brainer for me! I love these two! What do you think?!

Hidden Gems


Welcome to Hidden Gems hosted by KJ's Book Nook! Once a month I'll feature a new to me author that I've discovered and fell in love with their books. I'll share the author's bio, one of my favorite books of theirs and a review.

For this month's Hidden Gems I am going to choose...


Jules Barker is a sweet romance writer with an M.Ed who loves quirky heroines, swoony heroes, and emotional thrills. She knew by eighth grade what she wanted to be when she grew up: an English teacher and a novelist. She’s been teaching secondary English for sixteen years and is thrilled to now be sharing her writing with the world. She still doesn’t feel like a grown up, though.

Jules was raised on a mountain making up stories about the towns in the valley below and singing at the top of her lungs thinking the neighbors couldn’t hear. Poor neighbors. She’s a Korean Drama addict, a mom of two beautifully goofy daughters, and a life-long “hopeful romantic”.

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I actually discovered Jules from Trish LeBaron. You see, there's a group of friends who decided to come together and create the magical world of Moonrise Cove. I loved my visit there so much that I just HAD to keep going back for visits!

Sometimes it's hard to decide which book of an author's I'm going to feature. But the moment I started working on this post I knew it just HAD to be Melt my Heart! Why? Well, there's this epic kiss that had me swooning like there was no tomorrow! Y'all. It. Was. Amazing! And that's all I'm going to say about it because a kiss like that needs to be experienced on your own! 😉 Hehe.


Vera Penwythe never thought she’d go for another relationship so soon, and certainly not a fake one. She’s moved back in with her Gran for the holidays after a humiliating break up left her in debt to her two-timing ex. But when a charming neighbor begs her to pretend to be his girlfriend until his mom recovers from heart surgery, she can’t resist. She yearns to feel needed and be part of something, even if it is all fake. Besides, this way she’ll get the benefits of companionship without the expectations and heartbreak of a real relationship. Vera may have the power to create frost with her hands, but she wishes she could freeze her heart to keep it safe.

Harry Levine never thought lying to his mom would lead to the best mistake of his life. But when his parents’ excessive PDA and a tumbling tower of ice cream tubs lead his parents to assume that Vera is the long-term girlfriend they’ve never met, Harry begs her to go with it. He can’t bear to tell his sick mom that he’s broken up with his girlfriend. Instead, he enlists Vera’s help to keep up the ruse until his mom is on the mend. That just means a few family parties, shared shifts at his dad’s magic-themed ice cream parlor, and—oh yeah, passing Vera off as the picky girlfriend he’s told them about. But what do you do when the lie you started becomes the best thing that’s ever happened to you?

Vera doesn’t trust her bad-guy radar and she doesn’t trust love. But Christmas at Moonrise Cove has a way of working its magic and soon her walls begin to melt. Will she be able to risk her heart to believe that something fake could ever become something real?

You can check out my review here.

Happy reading my fellow Book Dragons!
Thursday, April 21, 2022

The Queen with No Name by JJ Makenzie


Synopsis:

She was born to be a queen, yet she’s nothing more than a political pawn. With no name and no place to call her own, she’s doing her best to hold on to the only thing that belongs to her and her alone—her soul. A difficult task, given that she was kept alive for the sole purpose of being given to the formidable King Rowan of Northrend to fulfill the treaty signed by the three kingdoms of the Greatland long before she was born. She must bear his heirs in the hopes of keeping the delicate peace that continually lies on the precipice of collapse. What she doesn’t know is that she’s not just the key to peace—she’s the key to war.
 
King Rowan’s entire life has been spent protecting his beloved kingdom and people. All he wishes for is an unassuming wife to bear his heirs and leave him unaffected. But the princess with no name haunts him with her beauty and unyielding spirit. Torn between breaking her and loving her, he puts his kingdom at risk each passing day he goes without a legitimate heir.
 
But there are more than hearts and souls on the line; danger lurks around every corner. Threats from within and without Northrend make it difficult to know who they can trust. The paramount question is, can they trust each other? Will the king finally name his queen, or will she tear his world apart? Her names comes with a price. Who will pay it?

Author JJ Makenzie presents an achingly beautiful coming of age story with a romance that will curl your toes and leave you longing for more.

My Review: 5+ Stars!

Some of you know that I am overly protective of the authors I love. I will defend them and protect them in any way I can. I know there's a lot of people who have been dying to get their hands on this book, but I'm going to be really blunt. I really don't want the clean romance community to read this book. I don't want reviewers to read this book expecting something and then ripping the book and author apart because this is NOT what they were expecting.

So real talk y'all. If you have a problem with urine, periods, swearing, talk of sex without using the word sex, implications of sexual acts, abuse, and/or violent death, this book is not for you. I repeat... THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR YOU! I wouldn't consider this book clean, but I wouldn't consider it dirty either. It's hard to explain. It's real, it's raw, it's gritty, but it's a beautiful coming of age story.

Y'all. I don't even know where to begin with my review. This book is nothing like anything I've ever read before. From beginning to end, I was captivated and intrigued.

Being used as political pawns, Rowan and Princess are thrown into an arranged marriage with danger lurking all around them. Trying to wade through the rocky waters of marriage is hard enough without adding in all the lies, deceit, and lack of trust. And the moment feelings get involved? Game. Over.

The feels. All. The. Feels! What a rollercoaster of a ride! My heart was shattered into a million pieces! And I don't think it's fully healed yet. I've never hated and loved someone so much in my life. I may or may not have been seething a time or two, but oh how I loved this book! This is a book I'll be thinking about for a long time to come.

What an amazing debut novel for Ms. Makenzie! She did an amazing job of transporting me to Northrend where she proceeded to wreak havoc in my life and mess with my emotions. Talk about heart-wrenchingly beautiful. I am dying to get my hands on the next book! I cannot wait to see what happens next! 

And of course I can't forget my casting. Y'all. I. Am. In. Love! What do you think?