Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books · Netgalley · New Releases · Pre-order · Reviews

Binding of Bindings: Ball Gowns & Royals

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Once Upon A Time and A Kingdom Far Away,

is how every tale begins and how it will stay.

Stories of honor, battle and conquest,

courtiers who scheme and who fight to be best.

Some fight for kingdoms and some fight for love,

Some lose with class and some with a shove.

There is magic, wands, fairies and spells,

so they better be good or they’ll be put into cells.

Heroes, Heroines and Villians fill these pages,

Some perform on thrones, and some on stages.

This is about those who are fierce and most loyal,

this showcases simply:

 

Ball Gowns & Royals

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Amber Sky (C.O.I.L.S. of Copper and Brass, Book 1) by Claire Warner

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Amber Sky is a fantastic way to start off this Ball Gowns & Royals post! A title that is less-known by the book community to my utter astonishment, and one that is a whirlwind of a read! In this story the nobility control everything from food to resources, which leaves many poor and dying in the mines. Our main character Tay is forced to beg for help from a noble named Darius after her father is arrested, and in return she makes a dangerous deal. Tay is thrust into the palace of courtiers and lies, whilst all the while fighting for the rebellion.

Think badass female spy in a ball gown.

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Enchantée by Gita Trelease

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If you have joined the obsession that is Enchantée, or you haven’t, allow me to overindulge you.

This is a BEAUTIFUL Fantasy/Historical Romance set in Paris right before the French Revolution. If you have a Marie Antoinette obsession, a Versailles obsession, or you are looking to get obsessed: read this now!

It is about a girl named Camille who begins to use la magie (magic) to turn cards at Versailles in order to bring in money for her and her sister. It goes through the repercussions of her decisions, the beauty and vile nature of the courtiers in Versailles, and even has some romance and the occasional hot air balloon.

 

Glitter and Shatter by Aprilynne Pike

 

 

Just like Enchantée, these two books are set in Versailles and have the same decadent yet vile vibe. Danica is forced to go to court by her mother, a place she loathes, and is eventually forced into the despicable young Kings hands by her mother, who is nothing but a social climber. Danica wants a way out, and that way is buy selling Glitter, an addicting drug in the form of makeup, to every courtier in the palace.

This series gets quite dark and gritty, and there is PLENTY of deviousness to go around. Danica is definitely the courtier dressed in black and up to no good.

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Kiss of the Royal (Book 1) by Lindsey Duga

Kiss of the Royal

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It’s like any other Disney fairy-tale, Princesses and Princes kissing.

Except this one has a comical and BRILLIANT spin!

In Kiss of the Royal the Princesses are who save the Princes. They follow the princes into battle, and wait on the sides until their prince is injured so they can rush to him and give him a healing kiss.

But Ivy isn’t okay with being a dainty Princess on the sidelines, as she shouldn’t be!

This girl gets RIGHT into the action to fight off evil, and eventually ends up on a long quest with a mysterious Prince from another land.

This book is ACTION-PACKED and VERY funny.

 

The Lone City Series by Amy Ewing

The Lone City Series

Look, if you guys are tired of me talking about this series….I get it…

But I also don’t give a s**t.

THIS SERIES GIVES ME BREATH!

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Or takes it away. It’s a tough call.

It’s a Handmaid’s Tale vibe for the YA book world. Less devastating, but equally f****d.

Extravagant mansions, nobility dripping in diamonds and throwing away money like it’s an apple core, and the ever-casual slavery and forced surrogacy.

OoOoOoOo…sounds fun, right?!

 

The Carnelian Legacy series by Cheryl Koevet

 

 

I have only read book one in this series, so I guess that proves just how behind in books I am!

This series is about a girl who is thrust into an alternate dimension where there are nobles, horses, battles and a few magical creatures. It’s a YA romance with our main character Marisa being the epicenter of turmoil and a possible full-out war in Carnelian.

I thoroughly enjoyed book 1, so I plan on reading the final two books….eventually.

 

The Frost Chronicles by E. Latimer

 

 

I requested Frost from Netgalley before its release date, and then tried to get Flame, but was cruelly DE-NIED.

HARD.

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Anyways, I mentioned Frost in my Winter Reads post not too long ago, so naturally I’m bringing it up again. It’s a YA Fantasy set in a world where Fire and Frost Giants are at war with each other. Our main character is forced to choose a side to fight with, but naturally gets to be decked out in a few fabulous dresses first.

 

The Kanin Chronicles by Amanda Hocking

Frostfire Series

Another series from my Winter Reads post, and absolutely one worth mentioning again!

The Kanin Chronicles promises readers another fierce and badass female lead who wants nothing more to compete next to the “big boys” as a member of the King’s elite guard. When a former lover of our heroine begins kidnapping changelings, she is forced to travel to surrounding kingdoms in order to keep a war from breaking out.

This is an annual reread for me, so that HAS to tell you how good it is. Not only that, but it’s set in a snowy kingdom! What’s not to love?!

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Roseblood by A.G. Howard

Roseblood

Roseblood was a HUGELY anticipated release in 2017, and after reading, I knew exactly why.

It is a retelling of The Phantom of the Opera that is set in the aftermath of this well-known romance. Rune is sent to a prestigious French arts conservatory in an opera house for her singing. She soon meets a boy named Thorn who is both secretive and entrancing. So begins a whirlwind romance doused in sweetness and sadness.

This book will satisfy that musical craving you didn’t know you wanted, while also serving you a little taste of finery and class.

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The Blood Rose Rebellion series by Rosalyn Eves

 

 

With only having read book 1 in this series, I can still tell you with full confidence that these books are a MUST for your TBR list.

Our story starts out with our leading lady, Anna, making a s**tstorm of her sister’s debutante ball by accidentally breaking her sister’s “coming-out-in-society” spell. In this world, magic is what makes you rise in the ranks in society, and to her family’s dismay, Anna is barren. Or…so they thought.

Blood Rose Rebellion tracks Anna as she is exiled to Hungary and learns the truth of the magic wielders, the Luminate. It is a story of oppression and rebellion, so put on those glass slippers and jump in!

 

The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

 

 

I know I keep talking about this series, but it’s the perfect Ball Gown and Royalty story!

Kestrel is forced to choose between joining her fathers military or get married. She comes across a young slave boy up for auction, makes the rash decision to buy him, and so ensues a tale of romance and rebellion. This story was FANTASTIC and has an old-timey feel to it.

I mean, there’s nothing better than a female who rocks a dress and then fights in battle.

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The Selection series by Kiera Cass

 

 

Probably the MOST royal set of books on this list!

These books are a dress addiction waiting to happen, so tread carefully you fashion slaves!

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The Selection is your typical story of a prince finding his princess through a televised competition. It’s a literal fight for the crown, and naturally a few skirts will be torn and punches will fly ❤

 

The Ash Princess Trilogy by Laura Sebastian

 

 

If you want to talk about a fierce Princess, let’s talk about Theodosia.

The poor girl has had her kingdom ripped out from under her, her mother’s throat slit in front of her, and is now the mascot in her own castle to the Kaiser who conquered her lands. She is paraded around at balls with people who despise her race, and forced to wear a crown of ash to show that she is a princess of nothing.

Brutal.

And yet, I CANNOT wait to read Lady Smoke!

 

The Folk of the Air series by Holly Black

 

 

*Sigh*…let’s start this exactly how I start every conversation that involves these books. Shall we?

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THIS SERIES IS DEVASTATION!

DO NOT read this if you’d rather not have a cursing episode of anguish after finishing The Wicked King.

Because you WILL fall into a coma of DESPAIR and REGRET and I won’t be able to pull you out because I’M ALREADY IN IT!

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A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge

A Face Like Glass

A TRUE MASTERPIECE AND FLAWLESS STORY!

I LOVE A Face Like Glass. And when I say LOVE, I mean I’m die-hard psychotic for it.

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This world, is WILD. Expressions do not exist in the city of Caverna, so the rich pay “Facesmiths” to be taught how to show a facial movement like sadness or excitement. For Neverfell, she has a face so terrifying that she has worn a mask since she was a young child. But when she is shown that her face can make expressions on its own, she is thrust into turmoil.

The book is insane and CRAZY addicting. The “high society” is ravenous, extreme and makes the people in the Capital of The Hunger Games look like men in boring suits!

Don’t think. Just buy!

 

Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts

Royal Bastards

A book I have not had the pleasure of reading yet, but one I have on my list!

The premise is exactly what it sounds like, a tale of royal bastards. Tilla is the daughter of a Lord who cast her aside after he was gifted with “trueborn” children. Only wishing to be accepted as a royal and to wear beautiful dresses, Tilla and the other bastards are shunned by their peers.

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It promises rebellion, action and romance…so it’s an obvious MUST for me!

 

Coiled by H.L. Burke

Coiled

Another retelling…and another book I haven’t read.

This one is a twist on Eros and Pysche (if you know of it) and is about a Princess who is made bait for a serpent by command of her parents. She soon meets a Prince who has a curse of turning those who look at him into a serpent, and fights to free him.

It looks positively PRECIOUS!

The Forest Queen by Betsy Cornwell

The Forest Queen

ANOTHER RETELLING!

And this one is based off your favorite man in tights…

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…except this Robin Hood is a female. WOO!

Sylvie runs away to the forest with her friend in order to help the poor survive the abuse her brother inflicts on them. It sounds like a classic tale of rebellion and fighting for justice!

 

Now, for the upcoming releases:

 

The Blood Heir Trilogy by Amélie Wen Zhao

Blood Heir

This series looks like it is going to be AMAZING!!

It is a story about a world where affinities are detested and a Princess who fights to keep her liking for blood a secret. But when her father is murdered and her yearning for blood is shown, she is framed and said to be the culprit.

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House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

House of Salt and Sorrows

IT’S A RETELLING EXTRAVAGANZA!

A twist on the fairy-tale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, of a family that is cursed by the Gods.

After four of her eleven sisters mysteriously die, Annaleigh suspects that the deaths were something more sinister than just an accident. She finds that her sisters have been sneaking off to nightly balls where they dance and dance for hours, and soon meets the mysterious stranger they are dancing with.

 

Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter

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That cover though, am I right?!

It’s a tale of the scary kind of fairies who entrap and seduce you, so get ready! If you’re needing a cure for you Cruel Prince and Wicked King hangover, maybe this will help. I know I’m willing to try anything at this point, and this cover and premise just hooked me!

 

The Bloodleaf series by Crystal Smith

Bloodleaf

Bloodleaf is about a princess and a marriage arranged at birth to a Prince in another kingdom. Aurelia fights between doing what is expected of her and what she wants, which is the typical princess tale…is it not?

Well this one sounds a WHOLE lot more in depth and exciting, so I am ready to get it started!

 

That is THAT for the Ball Gowns and Royals!

Was it as magical for you as it was for me?

I love hearing what you guys think, so let me know if you have read any of these or if you found some new ones for your growing TBR lists!

Until next time my magical witchlings!!!

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Blog Tour · Book Promo · Books · New Releases · Release Blitz · Wicked Dreams PR

Release Day Blitz: Dark Days – Semester Two by Liz Meldon

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Title: Dark Days: Semester 2

Author: Liz Meldon

Series: Dark Days Duet

Genre: Enemies-to-Lovers Paranormal Romance

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blurb

A vampire desperate for a brighter future. A wolf shifter eager to forget the past.

A killer closing in.

Still reeling from the events of December 31st, wolf shifter Emma Kingsley stumbles into the new year knowing that nothing will ever be the same. Her sanctuary—her territory—is falling to pieces around her. Danger in the forest. Danger in the village. Danger at her door.

This time of year, wolf’s in season.

The cruel promises of two rogue vampires cling to her like a second skin, but so does the possibility for something more with the vampire who saved her life. Despite her growing feelings, she knows in her heart that Calder is a part of this madness.

And when the truth comes to light, will she ever be able to trust him again?

Forced to unite for the sake of their beloved boarding school, two former enemies are torn between doing what is necessary…

And following their hearts.

The fresh start that vampire Calder so desperately craved is shot straight to Hell when the past comes back to bite him. Had circumstances been different, he would have fallen back on old habits—and run.

But now that Emma is involved, he knows the game has changed. A price must be paid, and if it keeps her alive, Calder Holloway will pay it a thousand times over.

Even if that means forgetting his feelings for the beautiful shifter. Every. Last. One.

Because those messy, messy feelings are what got him into trouble in the first place.

In the dark days of winter, an ancient evil emerges from the shadows. Blood will be spilled. Lines will be drawn. Lives will be lost.

Only one thing is certain: no one is safe.

Not even creatures of the night.

Dark Days is a standalone enemies-to-lovers paranormal romance duet. While Book 1 has a cliffhanger, all will be resolved with a supernatural happily-ever-after in Book 2.

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DD 2 Teaser 2

excerpt

As soon as my hand settled over the nape of her neck, Emma bolted upright, shrugging me off. “You don’t have to… Just go, Calder, I’m fine.”

“No, you’re not.”

“Well,” she wiped at her cheeks, “that’s not on you to fix.”

“I’m not trying to.”

“Calder—”

Oh, fuck it. I wrapped an arm around her shoulders, dragging her out from under Sampson and straight to me. Emma fought back, just as I knew she would, but not as hard as she could have—and less still when the tears started up again.

“Calder, just stop…”

I maneuvered her easily, lifting the shifter onto my lap, her back to my chest, both arms snapped tight around her in an embrace she couldn’t break even if she tried. And she tried. Emma pushed at my arms, drove her elbows into my ribs—weeping. She fought until she broke, until she went limp against me, body wracked with sobs, her nails sinking into my forearms like a steel bear trap. Pain flickered at the indents. I ignored it, all of it, and just held her, my face buried in her hair, drowning in lavender.

Our hearts beating as one.

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Dark Days Semester 1 Cover

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author-bio

Liz is a Canadian author who grew up in the Middle East. She has a degree in Bioarchaeology from Western University, and when she isn’t writing about her own snarky characters, she is reading about other people’s snarky characters, babying her herb garden, loitering on social media, or taking care of her furbabies.

Liz dabbles in both paranormal and contemporary erotic romance. Her paranormals are usually dark and angsty, and her contemporaries are stress-free smutfests, but you’ll find both full of feels. Most of all, she loves writing realistic characters in fantastical settings.

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Website | BookBub | Booksprout | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Amazon | Newsletter

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Netgalley · New Releases · Reviews

Book Review: Enchantée by Gita Trelease

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Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Flatiron Books, via NetGalley for an honest review.

Genre: YA/Fantasy/Historical Fiction

Plot: Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…

Opinion:

There once was a young French girl and her little sister,

Who were poor beyond belief due to their gambling brother.

The death of their parents turned their life quite tragic,

That’s why the eldest sister Camille turned to gambling and magic.

A dress that requires blood to enchant and disguise,

Was all that she’d need to sneak into Versailles.

But little was said about the toll on the soul that trickery would take,

Or the consequences that come from a life lived fake.

Livres, love, ball gowns and hats,

Hot air balloons so high, that one tip and you’ll splat.

Versailles may be enchanting, with a Queen like Marie 

But nothing in Versailles is black and white, and nothing is free. 

Hold on to your wigs, there’s a new Versailles tale in town!

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My dear Vicomtes and Vicomtesses, Enchantée is EVERYTHING and MORE that you could EVER ask for in a historical fiction set in late 1700 Versailles!

It is extravagant, it is DANGEROUS, and it is exactly what you would expect a palace of courtiers to be like.

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JEALOUSY is CLAWING at my insides, my brain is working mercilessly to assure me that I will never be able to step into this beautiful world, and it is taking EVERY bit of self-control to not throw myself on the ground and weep.

Weep because I will never experience the abhorrent glory that was Versailles in 1789.

OR a Versailles with magic and trickery.

Enchantée was all the things I hoped for when I read its description: cinched waists, expensive dresses, powdered faces, dapper men with MANNERS galore, magic….and cake. But that’s a given. I think we can ALL agree that any and ALL Versailles retellings are welcome to us book lovers, especially when a Fantasy aspect is thrown into the mix.

You had me at aristocrat and la magie.

Though the beauty of Versailles may pull you in to reading this book, or even the cameo of Marie Antoinette, I can assure my lovelies…you will stay for the characters, plot and writing. Gita Trelease has outdone herself! This book is elegant and suave, delectable and enticing. I was swept away in the world that she presents on a golden platter smattered in frosting and wine, and I am horribly STRICKEN that it is over. The author has fused fact with fiction and given readers a story that is both historical, while also fantastical in that it is filled with magic. She included events leading up to the French Revolution, the prices in bread increasing and the eventual riots, while also capturing the voices of the rich and the poor beautifully. These courtiers are the typical snooty aristocrats that you know and love, so enjoy.

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Camille is the main character of this story, and her story is quite a sorrowful one at that. Her parents had both died from small pox, her brother is a drunk and gambling addict who cannot control himself, and she must work la magie to provide food for her and her youngest sister. Once things turn worse for Camille’s brother, she is forced to work la magie on a higher scale. She infiltrates the Palace of Versailles posing as a Baroness, in hopes of earning money through gambling by changing cards with her magic. She is quickly swept up in the allure of the courtiers and the palace, and who could blame her?! There are masquerade balls, endless parties and games in the gardens, and cakes and wines all around! Courtiers strewn every which way, running wild with little to no rules to hinder their wants and needs.

 

Though a wonderfully created world, the truly amazing aspect of this story is the writing. The author has combined French words and phrases with this English version, and it made it THAT much more real and authentic. The reader will feel like they are in Paris in the late 1700’s, walking the streets with Camille or dining with her in Versailles! The creative writing was fantastic, and the setting was described impeccably. The characters were given such vast and comical personalities, while also proving to be well-versed in the etiquette and “ways” of the time period.

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Don’t worry darlings, there is INDEED a romance to be had. It is a truly touching and gentle romance at that, and one that I wish I could catch and put into my pocket. It will give you the audible *sigh*, the immense feels, and of course…make you wonder why the hell men aren’t this chivalrous anymore! I thought the author did a wonderful job of keeping the characters true to the era by ensuring proper rules for courting and attire, and even found it to be amusing at the modesty that was displayed back then.

“If he took off his coat, she might expire”

I wish I could say more! With all of that said, I think it’s obvious that I LOVED Enchantée to the gold-encrusted moon and back! It was an incredibly fun and creative read, and I only wish this was a series and not a stand-alone! I suppose I will just be here waiting and hoping that Gita Trelease will write another story that can compare and compete with this. Because I feel as I do at the end of every beautiful party, sorrowful and nostalgic.

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5-stars

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Netgalley · New Releases · Reviews

Book Review: Dream Keeper (The Dark Dreamer Trilogy, Book 10 by Amber R. Duell

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Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, The Parliament House, via NetGalley for an honest review.

Genre: YA/Fantasy/Paranormal/Romance

Plot: The Sandman is seventeen-year-old Nora’s closest friend and best-kept secret. He has to be, if she doesn’t want a one-way ticket back to the psychiatrist. It took her too long to learn not to mention the hooded figure in her dreams to her mother, who still watches Nora as if she’ll crack. So when Nora’s friends start mysteriously dying gruesome deaths in their sleep, she isn’t altogether surprised when the police direct their suspicion at her. The Sandman is the only one she can turn to for answers. But the truth might be more than she bargained for…

For the last five years, the Sandman has spent every night protecting Nora. When he hid the secret to the Nightmare Lord’s escape inside her dreams, he never expected to fall in love with her. Neither did he think his nemesis would find her so quickly, but there’s no mistaking his cruel handiwork. The Nightmare Lord is tired of playing by the rules and will do anything to release his deadly nightmares into the world, even if that means tormenting Nora until she breaks.

When the Nightmare Lord kidnaps Nora’s sister, Nora must enter enemy territory to save her. The Sandman is determined to help, but if Nora isn’t careful, she could lose even more than her family to the darkness.

(Please note: This story contains vivid death scenes.)

Opinion:

When I saw Dream Keeper on Netgalley, I just knew I had to have it.

A retelling of the Sandman, the weaver of nightmares, and a young girl caught up in the middle of it all? Sold. A YA story or romance, fantasy and magic? Sold.

A Lord of Nightmares, and a Lord of Dreams.

A Night World, and a Day World.

It ALL just promised to be SO. AMAZING.

I mean I just…loved it…

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With the description above basically giving away the ENTIRE book, I realize that it would be vastly unnecessary for me to give my own synopsis. So, let’s just jump right in, shall we? I have a feeling this review if going to be short and sweet.

Well…short and sour.

This book had a TON of promise, but really fell flat for me. The reason for that MAY be because it feels like it targets a younger audience, Pre-Teen/Teen, by the characters coming across as childlike and adolescent rather than somewhat mature. The author chose to use phrases like “sorry, not sorry” in one instance, and then words like perturbed and grotesque in the next. Though the writing is VERY descriptive and paints a beautiful picture of the dream and nightmare world, I felt like I was caught in a wind tunnel of conflicting writing styles. At one point it feels eloquent and mature, and the next it is simplistic and feels cheesy. I almost felt like I was reading a soap-opera at times.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a strong connection to Nora and the Sandman, especially when it came to their romance. When the reader starts this book, they are thrust right in the middle of the story. There isn’t much of a premise, so it eventually “backpedals” you through past events to catch you up. Sometimes this works in stories, but in this case, it was just confusing. Due to the quick start, and even quicker romance, it doesn’t give the reader adequate time to connect to Nora and the Sandman. The Sandman ended up sounding like a brooding teenager even though he’s supposed to be decades old, and Nora didn’t seem to have much of an emotional response to the murders around her…which is strange. Shouldn’t she be freaking the f**k out? I would be! So instead of exciting and fresh, these characters came off as quite dull and unimpressive.

The flow of the writing and the structure of this story also left me a little unsettled. With the beginning starting from nowhere and being rushed, it made me think that this series was going to be PACKED with exciting moments. I mean, it would have to be for this to be a trilogy and start that way, right?! Well, yes and no. I wasn’t bored while reading, but I DID feel like there wasn’t a lot of meaningful and necessary moments happening. Things felt a little out of order, or rushed in spots and slow in others. My editing brain kept wanting to rearrange different paragraphs and sentences, so it was a bit hard to get through.

Another confusing aspect was that a bunch of REALLY important characters didn’t come into this story until the end. By the time I got to these new characters, I was already checked-out of the story and skimming the lines. Maybe if they were introduced earlier, it would have kept my attention and interest more. I thought the character of Baku was very creative, so I wish he would have had a bigger role and made a stronger connection with Nora or the Sandman. It could have been a memorable and amusing duo for the reader to get hooked on.

This really came off more negative than I was anticipating, which is unfortunate. This story had a lot of great ideas and moments, but I think some final editing could have really improved it. Though I am slightly curious to see if the writing and characters improve in book two, I probably won’t be picking up the next copy. With the characters and flow of writing falling short, Dream Keeper turned out to be a real dud for me. This is of course, is just my opinion. A lot of other readers really enjoyed this story, so don’t use my words as law. Even though you could. 😉

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2-5-stars

 

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Binding of Bindings · Books · New Releases · Pre-order · Reviews

Binding of Bindings: My Ten Anticipated February Book Releases

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I’m baaaaaaaaaack!

Can you feel it guys?!

That first month of 2019 is just about to blow away into the wind. A distant memory. An inconsequential blip in the amazingness (shhhhh, it’s a word) that next month will be.

January was just a warm-up. It was a couple high knees, jumping jacks and about ten half-assed burpees. You were exhausted, you looked a little crazy. But it’s okay.

Because you’re conditioned now.

And Walking into February like…

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What BETTER way to get hyped for the big F-E-B than to check out its anticipated reads?!

Here it is boys and girls:

My Ten Anticipated February Book Releases

 

1. The Queen of Cursed Things (Book 1) by S.M. Gaither

Release Date: February 1, 2019

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I’ll just never get enough of these rebellion stories.

And you better not either…because there’s a whole couldronload of them below ❤

This is a story about humans and Gods, and about a girl who brings back a clan that was thought to be eradicated decades before. Alana learns that she is the descendant of the serpent clan, and accidentally awakens them. It sounds like it is going to be a battle-royal and a great story where a female kicks some ass. You go girl!

 

2. The Cerulean (Book 1) by Amy Ewing

Release Date: February 5, 2019

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A YA/Fantasy by Amy Ewing, writer of The Lone City series?

Psh. Say no more.

I have a REALLY strong inkling that this book/duology is going to be truly amazing and special. It already sounds like the perfect amount of fantasy and imagination that all of us crave! It’s about a girl who lives in a city above the sky which connects to the (or a…?) human world below. She feels like an outcast around her people, the Cerulean, and wishes they would just cut the tether that connects the two worlds.

So she is chosen as a sacrifice to break the tether of the worlds. Basically, she just has to throw herself off the ledge and die.

The….f**k?!

Honestly. Amy Ewing is a Goddess.

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3. Lady Smoke (Ash Princess, Book 2) by Laura Sebastian

Release Date: February 5, 2019

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MY TOP ANTICIPATED READ FOR FEBRUARY!!!!!

Did you guys DIE for Ash Princess like I did?!?

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I have been waiting and waiting for book 2, but it seems my approval from Netgalley has…*cough cough*…gotten lost in the mail…

I don’t want to reveal too much if you haven’t read book 1 – Ash Princess (DO IT NOW), but it hards not to. Theodosia is a princess who has been trapped under the Kaiser’s thumb for years, and now she has finally made her move against the people her ruined her kingdom and life. It is a tale of deception and sadness, and royalty and rebellions. Obviously, my favorite.

 

4. Enchantée by Gita Trelease

Release Date: February 5, 2019

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I THANKFULLY received this beauty from Netgalley (thank the witches) and CANNOT wait to get it started. I have been hardcore into these YA/Fantasy/Historical fiction books. I don’t know what it is about these books.

The GLITZ, the GLAM.

The Murder.

It’s positively swoonworthy.

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5. Courting Darkness (Book 1) by Robin LaFevers

Release Date: February 5, 2019

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Another Historical Fiction for February!!!!

 

to be honest, the description of this book has me a little lost. Sybella is the darkest of Death’s daughters (ugh to-die-for), accompanies a duchess to France to help with a battle of sorts, and to save her sisters in the process.

Look. Sometimes that’s all you need to get a girl hooked, okay?! Let’s do it.

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6. A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Release Date: February 5, 2019

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Another book I so graciously received from Netgalley, and one I cannot WAIT to sink my teeth into!

Call me a psycho, but I just love a tale about a character being put into a mental institution.

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Although the description of this story gives the reader a slight inkling that it may have a more serious mental health tone rather than a murder-y vibe, it still tells the reader that they are going to be guessing and guessing during the entire read.

Curiouser and Curiouser.

 

7. Crown of Feathers (Book 1) by Nicki Pau Preto

Release Date: February 12, 2019

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Fierce Warrior Queens? Pheonix Riders?

A young woman who infiltrates a man-driven legion of warriors?

Enough said.

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8. James Acaster’s Classic Scrapes by James Acaster

Release Date: February 19, 2019

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If you don’t know who James Acaster is, you need to get involved.

The British Panel Shows have a special place in my witchy heart, and so do all of the interesting characters who fill them. James is at the top of my favorites list for his comedy. He’s a man-boy prone to brooding with snarky comments and a whole host of embarrassing stories. His book details countless moments from his life when his NERD has shown proud, and he has made a giant ass of himself.

If that doesn’t grab you, just look at those yellow/brown color choices for attire.

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9. We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Release Date: February 26, 2019

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The cover, the title…it’s just working.

You all know i love a rebellion book, and this one is just REEKING of rebellion. There are high and low factions, and a school where women are groomed to go into one of two roles: to run a husband’s household or raise his children. Daniela is the top of her class, but has a secret.

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Anything that leaves me in SUCH suspense with their description is a MUST read.

 

10. What We Buried by Kate A. Boorman

Release Date: February 26, 2019

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This cover gives me tingly M.C. Escher vibes.

I saved the BEST cover for last…but also because it comes out the latest in February…so..

It’s about two siblings that couldn’t be more different, and who don’t have a keen fondness for one other. One if the siblings, Liv, decides to sue her parents for emancipation but on the day of the hearing the parents disappear. It’s in the mystery “aisle”, but I’m wondering what type it will be. Will there just be a wild hunt where the siblings bond? A murder?!?! A twist of all twists? Oh, the anticipation!

I hope you guys found some new reads for your overflowing TBR lists, and some you plan on reading in February!

As always, stay witchy my amazing readers!!

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Book Reviews · Books · New Releases · Reviews

Book Review: The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, Book 2) by Holly Black

the wicked king

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Plot: You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

Opinion:

So there I was.

Curled up on the couch upstairs.

Enjoying my lunch break in silence. Reveling in the comfort and bliss of a book of fantasy and Fae, magical creatures and humans.

Devouring the pages and words with the eyes of a stalker, with the death grip of a blubbering woman not at all keen on letting go of a lover.

With the enthusiasm of a book junkie getting their long-awaited fix.

There I was.

Just…minding my own business.

And then

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Dear Holly Black,

Please accept this as my death letter. For 2019 is ruined, and I cannot go on.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

All of Jude’s scheming has finally paid off, or has it? With Oak safely in the mortal world with Vivi and Cardan successfully bound to Jude, things should be going smoothly. But Cardans constant antics and games have left Jude to be the one ruling faerie from the shadows, with Cardan fighting her every step of the way. But with new power comes something worse, the craving for more and a target on your back. There are whispers of an attempt to overthrow the High King, but when? Jude is told that she has been betrayed by someone she trusts, but who? With her feelings for Cardan in a constant state of confusion, and the fate of an entire world on her shoulders, Jude fights to keep her carefully constructed pieces from scattering in the wind.

I feel nauseous.

You’d think I would catch on to these blind-sides and surprises by now. If not from the mass number of books that I murder, then from reading The Cruel Prince and knowing that Holly Black likes to TORTURE her dear and devoted readers.

My day had STARTED out pleasant.

Now, it’s a swirling pit of misery and disgrace. I am DISGUSTED, yet slightly charmed. Wholly DEVASTATED and…a bit impassioned. My stomach feels like its attempting to crawl up my throat, dragging my heart from the depths of bleak outlooks and deprivation. As if my insides have decided “to hell with it”, and will begin seeping out and dissipating into the cruel air and harsh lighting that is my life as of now. First came the disbelief. The shock and the audible gasps. Then came the incessant repeating of No, NO, NOOOOO! The Anger! THE AGGONNNNYYY!

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Dramatics aside. This book is f*****g amazing. I flew down the stairs in a panic as soon as I finished; I immediately began furiously pounding my feelings away through my fingertips, onto this keyboard, and into this theatrical review. But now that I have finished throwing my feelings up all over these pages (because we ARE at two pages already), what do I say without spoiling everything?!

I say this.

Taryn is still a tripe. Madoc is still a devious strategist. Jude is still cold and cunning. And Cardan is still cruel, while also quite wicked. As I was reading through The Wicked King I wondered if Holly Black could really have any more tricks up her sleeve. I assumed everything that had come after The Cruel Prince would be on a milder scale. Sure, there would still be malicious games, callous moves and bloodthirsty characters. BUT, I thought the worst had passed.

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I am SO gullible.

The backstabbing has reached a new level here, along with the “blood is thicker than water” sayings. It’s almost laughable how righteously f****d these characters are to each other, especially when you stop to imagine yourself in this world. The constant looking over your shoulder and anxiety of being plotted against. The riddles and lies that are spewed in elegance. The stab wounds and death threats that skate alongside the small smiles and kisses. IT’S ALL TOO MUCH!

But as wicked as the king is to be said, Jude is truly the most wicked of them all. There’s just SOMETHING about a girl that can stab a man in the neck that just makes me do a little dance on my tippy toes. Whether it’s her Oscar worthy acting skills or her sarcastic taunts and digs, I can’t help but adore the girl to pieces. There is truly something to be said for a woman that can make her heart as cold as ice. Something of brilliance, I imagine. But next to Jude, we have Cardan. The sweet and infuriatingly dreamy Cardan. *SIGH*…what couldn’t one say of his character?! He is suave, he is arrogant and clever. He is still a jackass. Though I didn’t think much of Cardan before, I sure as hell do now! *Slow and sarcastic clapping* Well done Cardan. Well done.

Though now, I have even less I can say without being the Viscount of Vague! There are conversations in towers, a crown of foul-smelling mushrooms, plotted assassinations, betrayals by the trusted, time spent in the waters, poisonous poisons, duels ‘till the death, ruby rings and moves and counter moves! There is just so little I can say, but I CAN say this: waiting a year for book three is definitely and undoubtedly the bane of my existence.

Until then, I leave you with this.

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · JKS Communications · New Releases · Pre-order · Reviews

Book Review:Immortal Girls by Griffin Stark

Immortal Girls

Disclaimer: I was sent an ARC copy of this book by JKS Communications on behalf of the author, for an honest review.

Genre: Fiction/Fantasy/YA/Teen

Plot: The year is 1095, Normandy, France. Five year old Skylar runs away into the woods to escape nuns who are convinced her inexplicable seizures are the work of Satan. She survives after being adopted by wolves, when two mysterious strangers appear and reveal Skylar’s destiny to her. Skylar is the first of the Immortal Girls, destined to save humanity from itself.

“Immortal Girls” follows Skylar, Rachel, Caitlin, Beth, and Bethany, five immortal sisters who, over the course of a thousand years, attempt to learn the purpose of their own existence while hunting down the worst criminals this world has ever seen. They’ve faced the likes of Jack the Ripper and the Nazis, but as a new enemy arises to threaten the sisters’ survival they’ll soon learn that immortality doesn’t mean forever.

Opinion:

It is I, on this Sunday, that blesses you with this:

A book with the potential to reach the stars

if only it had gone through a few Beta/Alpha readers first.

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This book has tremendous potential to be amazing, but it just doesn’t feel finished. There are a few positives, a few negatives, and some gray areas in-between. There were times when I really enjoyed the authors writing, and times when I had no idea what he was trying to convey to the reader. If I look at the work as a whole, I find it to be a cute story and something I really didn’t mind reading. But it could have been SO much better.

Let’s start with the length of the book. Yes, it is short. But let’s categorize it into the “Short Story” genre then. In that regard, it is the perfect size. The writing is quick and to the point, and doesn’t waste time with too many words and unnecessary “fluff”. But if the intention is for this to be a novel, then okay, it’s short. However, in my opinion, I think the story is fine at this length. I saw a few complaints from readers expressing that it was too short for a fantasy story which caused there to be a lack of story and character building. But every book is different. This just happens to be a shorter fantasy book that doesn’t include an exuberant amount of description and detail, but I think it works.

The plot for this book is what immediately interested me, and what compelled me to accept it for review. I loved the creative idea of moving through historical events and characters, and bringing a fictional side into it. The author successfully weaved a tale of inventive possibilities and outcomes that COULD have happened in history, and it was enjoyable to see them play out. I liked the interaction with Joan of Arc and how the author portrayed her as a typical teenage girl who was seeking friendship, the idea that Anne Frank met a girl in her concentration camp and wished her to share her diary with the world, and that a few eighteen-year-old girls were the true demise of Jack the Ripper. This is all VERY creative. But some of it just wasn’t executed as well as it could have been.

The change of scenes was only separated by paragraphs, which made it EXTREMELY difficult to keep up with what was happening. There was a moment when one immortal girl was introduced and described to the reader, but in the next paragraph the reader is thrown into a scene from her past. Where was the notice that this was happening?! It could have been completed with just three small characters. Look, it’s so simple:

***

The author paints the parents, Isabelle and Alistair, to be these divine and heavenly beings who are tasked with showing the girls the “right” path in life that could save the world. I mean I think that was his goal? It’s not very clear. But who are these two characters? Where did they come from? They could be tricksters from Satan for all I know about them! But what is even more confusing is that these girls are actually “trained” to be savage killers. And when I say “trained” I mean they become immortal, and then instinctively know to reach through a guy’s chest and rip his heart out.

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I DID like the introductions for each Immortal girl though, and how each one was a little different. I REALLY liked the introduction of Caitlin when the author described her. THIS is how they entirety of the story should have been described. It was detailed and gave me a PERFECT image of what she looked like and who she was, but wasn’t overly wordy. It was just right. But then by the end of Caitlin’s story I was confused again because I didn’t understand if she was already immortal at that point, or if she was then going to become immortal?

Also, I think those cheesy one-liners when the girls are killing don’t even need to be touched on.

Honestly.

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By the end of the of the book I was a bit annoyed, but I had learned to accept it for what it is. I think it would be a great idea for this author to use Beta and Alpha readers for his next book, because it would only benefit him to have the opinions of readers that are going to give him honest helpful criticism. I think this story was cute and creative, but it just didn’t execute in the way I had hoped it would.

2-5-stars

 

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