Reign of Mist, Helen Scheuerer – Book Review

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39216289._sy475_The realm’s darkest secret is out.

The cruelty of the capital and the power-hungry King Arden have scattered Bleak and her companions across the continents.

On the run in a foreign land, Bleak finds herself tied to some unexpected strangers. When the answers she yearns for are finally within reach, she must face the hard truths of her past, and take her fate into her own hands before it’s too late.

Meanwhile, secrets and magic unravel as a dark power corrupts the realm. Bleak’s friends are forced to decide where their loyalties lie, and who, if anyone, they can trust.

But one thing is certain: war is coming, and they must all be ready when it does.

Intriguing and action-packed, Reign of Mist is the second instalment in Helen Scheuerer’s epic YA fantasy series, The Oremere Chronicles.

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Hungry Hearts Food Crawl – Rain, Sangu Mandanna

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Hello, everybody!! Welcome to my stop for the Hungry Hearts Food Crawl organised by the very amazing CW @ The Quiet Pond and Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads ! I’m so excited to be a part of this blog tour where #OwnVoices reviewers review a story that represents them. I’ve never been a part of something like this before so I’m really excited!! 😀

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From some of your favorite bestselling and critically acclaimed authors—including Sandhya Menon, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Rin Chupeco—comes a collection of interconnected short stories that explore the intersection of family, culture, and food in the lives of thirteen teens.

A shy teenager attempts to express how she really feels through the confections she makes at her family’s pasteleria. A tourist from Montenegro desperately seeks a magic soup dumpling that could cure his fear of death. An aspiring chef realizes that butter and soul are the key ingredients to win a cooking competition that could win him the money to save his mother’s life.

Welcome to Hungry Hearts Row, where the answers to most of life’s hard questions are kneaded, rolled, baked. Where a typical greeting is, “Have you had anything to eat?” Where magic and food and love are sometimes one and the same.

Told in interconnected short stories, Hungry Hearts explores the many meanings food can take on beyond mere nourishment. It can symbolize love and despair, family and culture, belonging and home.

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Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck & Fortune, Roselle Lim – Blog Tour

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42051103At the news of her mother’s death, Natalie Tan returns home. The two women hadn’t spoken since Natalie left in anger seven years ago, when her mother refused to support her chosen career as a chef. Natalie is shocked to discover the vibrant neighborhood of San Francisco’s Chinatown that she remembers from her childhood is fading, with businesses failing and families moving out. She’s even more surprised to learn she has inherited her grandmother’s restaurant.

The neighborhood seer reads the restaurant’s fortune in the leaves: Natalie must cook three recipes from her grandmother’s cookbook to aid her struggling neighbors before the restaurant will succeed. Unfortunately, Natalie has no desire to help them try to turn things around–she resents the local shopkeepers for leaving her alone to take care of her agoraphobic mother when she was growing up. But with the support of a surprising new friend and a budding romance, Natalie starts to realize that maybe her neighbors really have been there for her all along.

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Stronger Than A Bronze Dragon, Mary Fan – Blog Tour

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41150325When a powerful viceroy arrives with a fleet of mechanical dragons and stops an attack on Anlei’s village, the villagers see him as a godsend. They agree to give him their sacred, enchanted River Pearl in exchange for permanent protection—if he’ll marry one of the village girls to solidify the alliance. Anlei is appalled when the viceroy selects her as a bride, but with the fate of her people at stake, she sees no choice but to consent. Anlei’s noble plans are sent into a tailspin, however, when a young thief steals the River Pearl for himself.

Knowing the viceroy won’t protect her village without the jewel, she takes matters into her own hands. But once she catches the thief, she discovers he needs the pearl just as much as she does. The two embark on an epic quest across the land and into the Courts of Hell, taking Anlei on a journey that reveals more is at stake than she could have ever imagined.

With incredibly vivid world building and fast-paced storytelling, Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon is great for readers who are looking for something fresh in epic fantasy.

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Heart of Mist, Helen Scheuerer – Book Review

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34865933In a realm where toxic mist sweeps the lands and magic is forbidden, all Bleak wants is a cure for her power.

Still grieving the death of her guardian and dangerously self-medicating with alcohol, Bleak is snatched from her home by the Commander of the King’s Army, and summoned to the capital.

But the king isn’t the only one interested in Bleak’s powers.

The leader of an infamous society of warriors, the Valia Kindred, lays claim to her as well, and Bleak finds herself in the middle of a much bigger battle than she anticipated.

Heart of Mist is the gripping first book in The Oremere Chronicles, a fantasy series of epic proportions.

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The Takeover Effect, Nisha Sharma – ARC Review

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36544616Hemdeep Singh knows exactly what he wants. With his intelligence and determination, he has what it takes to build his own legacy away from Bharat, Inc. and the empire his father created. But when his brother calls him home, Hem puts his dreams on hold once again to help save the company he walked away from. That’s when he encounters the devastating Mina Kohli in the Bharat boardroom, and he realizes he’s in for more than he had bargained.

Mina will do whatever it takes to regain control of her mother’s law firm, even if it means agreeing to an arranged marriage. Her newest case assignment is to assist Bharat in the midst of a potential takeover. It could be the key to finally achieving her goal while preventing her marriage to a man she doesn’t love—as long as her explosive attraction to Hem doesn’t get in the way.

As Mina and Hem work to save Bharat, they not only uncover secrets that could threaten the existence of the company, but they also learn that in a winner-takes-all game, love always comes out on top.

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*ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

The Takeover Effect is a fast paced, intriguing, and sexy story that centers around our two protags – Hemdeep “Hem” Singh and Mina Kohli, in the background of corporate espionage, hostile takeovers and mergers, and corporate politics thrown in with a bunch of family issues and angst. It was an amazing read and I finished it in one sitting. Once I started reading, it was almost impossible to stop because it was just so good. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. So very, very, very much.

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The writing and plot in this story are very intense and gripping. I mean, there is so much happening with the takeover attempt and everyone seems to have their own agenda and then you just don’t know what is going to happen in the end, as regards to the takeover (I mean, it is a romance so the HEA/HFN is guaranteed, but I WAS SO INVESTED IN FINDING OUT WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO THE COMPANY!) Frankly, I have never really been interested in the background as something more than tools to move the story forward. But in this one, I was genuinely into the whole backdrop scenario and what would happen. So, points for that.

It also blended into the story perfectly and it was like an entity of its own in the story, like the characters. It was really so well done and I thoroughly enjoyed it. 😀

Complete brownie points for the punjabi dialogue littered throughout the story because it was so amazing to read it! I absolutely love it so, so, so much!!

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Mina, the female lead in the story, is a lawyer who wants to oust her uncles and take control of the law firm her mother built from scratch and which had been taken over by said uncles when she was just a teenager. She’s absolutely amazing. Her sheer determination to get back what was stolen from her is so nice to see and I absolutely rooted for her the minute she came on page. Her quick wit and snarky comebacks are just as brilliant. I loved her banter with Hem.

She loves her mother so much and it is so prevalent in everything she does. She wants to make her proud and be the daughter she thinks her mother would want her to be. And despite her go getter attitude, she has her own insecurities like any other person. I love how she’s portrayed as a whole. Absolutely phenomenal!

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And then there’s Hem. Quiet, complex, and understanding Hem who comes home at the first sign of trouble for his father despite their disagreements not too long ago. It is established right from the start that even though he doesn’t see eye to eye with his parents and they have all this shit between them, he cares a lot about his family and there isn’t anything he wouldn’t not do for them.

He is a fierce entrepreneur and lawyer and has the power to shut a room down with his presence and command over the room. But, he is also soft and understanding and supportive – for his brothers and Mina. He is also determined and doesn’t give up easily.

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I adore the progression of Mina & Hem’s relationship throughout the book. It starts off as a mutual attraction they both deny at first but then it slowly buds into dating and then love and it’s just done so beautifully. I love how they both bond over their mutual love of Indian food and their mother tongue – Punjabi. They’re both very different in some aspects, yet so similar in others and they just fit together so well. They are both so in tune with each other and are always supportive which I like. Of course there are bumps along the way and then Hem does behave like a dick at times, but at the end of the day, they make each other happy and it was so good to read about!

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All the characters were absolutely amaze and I loved them all. Hem’s family and Mina’s vapid uncles were all great characters and I loved them so much! They were well fleshed out and that was really nice to read. I think my favourite side characters were Hem’s brothers, Ajay & Zail. Their family had their issues, like any other family, but I loved the dynamic of this trio. They clearly admired and respected each other a lot and that was very visible throughout the story.

Over all, this was definitely a book I would recommend to every romance reader out there! ❤

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Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Avon

 

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Nisha Sharma is the author of the critically acclaimed YA novel My So-Called Bollywood Life, and the adult contemporary romance The Takeover Effect. Her writing has been praised by NPR, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Teen Vogue, Buzzfeed, Hypable and more.

Nisha credits her father for her multiple graduate degrees, and her mother for her love of Shah Rukh Khan and Jane Austen. She lives in New Jersey with her Alaskan husband, her cat Lizzie Bennett and her dog Nancey Drew. You can find her online at Nisha-sharma.com or on Twitter and Instagram @nishawrites.

Website | Twitter | Instagram

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Have you read any of Nisha Sharma’s books? Did you enjoy them? Are you excited for The Takeover Effect? Have you already read it? Did you enjoy it?

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Kingdom Cold, Brittni Chenelle – Blog Tour

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43203291Attempted murder, that’s how sixteen-year-old Princess Charlotte’s engagement starts. It seems like the only thing she has in common with Prince Young of Vires is their mutual discontent.

When her kingdom’s attacked, Charlotte’s parents renegotiate her hand in marriage to a handsome stranger with a sinister plan. With the people Charlotte loves dying around her, and her kingdom’s future at stake, the only person she can turn to is the prince she betrayed. But, should she save her kingdom or her heart?

One must fall.

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Small Town Hearts, Lillie Vale – Blog Tour

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36192190Rule #1 – Never fall for a summer boy. 

Fresh out of high school, Babe Vogel should be thrilled to have the whole summer at her fingertips. She loves living in her lighthouse home in the sleepy Maine beach town of Oar’s Rest and being a barista at the Busy Bean, but she’s totally freaking out about how her life will change when her two best friends go to college in the fall. And when a reckless kiss causes all three of them to break up, she may lose them a lot sooner. On top of that, her ex-girlfriend is back in town, bringing with her a slew of memories, both good and bad.

And then there’s Levi Keller, the cute artist who’s spending all his free time at the coffee shop where she works. Levi’s from out of town, and even though Babe knows better than to fall for a tourist who will leave when summer ends, she can’t stop herself from wanting to know him. Can Babe keep her distance, or will she break the one rule she’s always had – to never fall for a summer boy?

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The Ultimate Pi Day Party, Jackie Lau – ARC Review

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43699955If there’s one thing that might get my dad, a retired math teacher, to visit Toronto and have a real conversation with me for the first time in seventeen years, it’s a big nerdy Pi Day party. And hopefully this party—and seeing the tech company I built from nothing—will finally be enough to impress him and make him forgive me for everything I did when I was a teenager.

But it’s got to be a really great party.

That’s where Sarah Winters comes in. She owns Happy As Pie, a sweet and savory pie shop, and wants to get into catering. She makes an amazing lamb-rosemary pie, cherry pie, lemon-lime tart…you get the idea. She’ll provide the food and help me plan the party, nothing more. No matter how much time we spend together, I’m not going to fall in love with her.

At least, that’s what I tell myself…

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Graham’s Delicacies, Em Ali – Review

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Six people and three love stories all in one bakery.

Saccharine
Jen goes to work, agonizes over college, and looks forward to the stolen moments in the kitchen. There she can watch Emilie bake love into every morsel. Their delicate friendship takes a step towards a budding romance, but will Jen’s anxiety help them survive their first hurdle?

Delectable
James has never been kissed but he wants to be. Especially by his co-worker Sam, who he can’t talk to without turning into a little jerk. Sam is made of all the good stuff, but will James’ deepest insecurities allow him to kiss the boy?

Ravenous
Alex won’t let some foodie with a video camera bash their beloved bakery, even if it means to be petty. Except they’re nowhere ready for Yujin, the one who got away and is now romancing them. Will Alex’s pride let them see the gold heart the bashful king hides?

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