The Impossible Vastness of Us, Samantha Young – Blog Tour

 

From New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young comes a story of friendship, identity, and acceptance that will break your heart—and make it whole again. Order your copy of THE IMPOSSIBLE VASTNESS OF US today!

 

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About THE IMPOSSIBLE VASTNESS OF US:

“I know how to watch my back. I’m the only one that ever has.”

India Maxwell hasn’t just moved across the country—she’s plummeted to the bottom rung of the social ladder. It’s taken years to cover the mess of her home life with a veneer of popularity. Now she’s living in one of Boston’s wealthiest neighborhoods with her mom’s fiancé and his daughter, Eloise. Thanks to her soon-to-be stepsister’s clique of friends, including Eloise’s gorgeous, arrogant boyfriend Finn, India feels like the one thing she hoped never to be seen as again: trash.

But India’s not alone in struggling to control the secrets of her past. Eloise and Finn, the school’s golden couple, aren’t all they seem to be. In fact, everyone’s life is infinitely more complex than it first appears. And as India grows closer to Finn and befriends Eloise, threatening the facades that hold them together, what’s left are truths that are brutal, beautiful, and big enough to change them forever…

 

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*ARC received as a part of a blog tour. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

The Impossible Vastness of Us follows the story of three teenagers – India, Finn & Eloise – and their journey of growing up. India is uprooted from her home to move to live with her mom and her high society fiance. She has to leave everything behind, everything she worked so hard for – her friends, her school, but mostly her stellar reputation on the top of the high school food chain that she spent years building. And then, it’s a new world for her because her stepdad is loaded and she’s never had so much money and because suddenly, she’s at the bottom of the high school food chain, with her stepsister, Eloise, and her boyfriend, Finn, at the top. She doesn’t particularly like Eloise and she starts to develop feelings for Finn, but as she spends more time in her new home and school, she learns that not everything is as perfect as it is being portrayed and she’s not the only one with life changing secrets.

 

What I like about India is that she is so resilient and strong. She’s been dealt a shitty hand and she makes the best of it. She stands up in the face of adversity and I love how strong she is. I admire her for being able to get up and do daily, mundane things such as going to school in face of what has happened to her. I don’t want to get into it a whole lot because I think it’s better read than said. I really, really, really liked reading about her. She’s an amazing MC.

 

Then, there’s Finn – the broody, mysterious guy, who also happens to be her step sister’s boyfriend. But, Finn & India fall for each other and of course, Finn has a secret too. His life isn’t as perfect as he’d like people to believe. His story is as heartbreaking as India’s and I’m really glad they had each other through the story. I mean, they’re such an adorable couple! I ship them, okay? I ship them hard. They’re amazing together. I love it.

 

The themes in this book were so on point. Not everyone has a perfect life and there’s so many bad things and obstacles. I love that. All the characters were multi faceted and there was so much to everyone’s story than what was on the surface. They were all complicated and flawed. Some characters I loved and some I hated, but they were all amazingly written and I loved how they were portrayed. Young has done an incredible job with that. Kudos to her.

 

Yes, the drama got a little too much for me at times, but I still loved the story and I was so hooked on knowing what was happening and why it was happening. So, points for being a page turner.

 

What I love about this is the open ending. It wasn’t all wrapped in a present with an HEA and the characters had a long way to go still, but they had changed so much from the beginning of the story and I love that. I mean, it was completely fitting to end the story on that note. I would have liked a more definitive ending in terms of the romance, but there are no guarantees in life and I was pretty okay with it.

 

All in all, this was a great coming of age story and I really enjoyed the journey these characters took.

 

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“This is Jay,” I said, crossing my arms over my chest in defiance at the stern look on her face.

I hated when she acted like she gave a crap.

“I don’t care who he is.” Hayley tried to fry his ass with her eyes. “You can leave.”

Jay stared back at her with as much defiance as I did, making me like him more. He turned to me and pressed a slow, intimate kiss to the corner of my mouth. “See you at school, babe.”

He laughed at the mischief in my eyes.

I waited until he’d brushed by Hayley without a word and I heard the front door close behind him. “Nice. Thanks.”

Hayley’s dark eyes narrowed into slits. “Don’t talk to me like that. I’m tired, it’s been a long day and now I come home and find my daughter being mauled by some walking hormone. Am I supposed to be happy that you’re dating some guy who looks like he’s seen the inside of prison more than once?”

“We’re not dating. We’re just fooling around.”

“Oh, well, then, why am I so upset?” She threw her hands up in exasperation.

“Hayley.”

She flinched, like she always flinched when I called her by her name (so she flinched a lot). “Don’t ‘Hayley’ me. I have a right to be upset about this.”

“Don’t be. I’m not serious about him. And I’m not getting pregnant. Anyway, you’re home early.”

“They put me on a shorter flight.” She dumped her purse on the couch as she moved farther into the room. “We’ll discuss Jay later. I need to tell you something.”

I tensed. “Yeah?”

She stared pensively at me for a few seconds before finally taking a seat by my side. “I’ve met someone.”

Dread instantly filled me.

Scrutinizing me for a reaction and getting none, Hayley smiled reassuringly. “He’s wonderful. His name is Theo and he has a daughter who’s actually your age. He lives in Boston. We met on one of my flights out there.”

My stomach churned. “How long?”

“Several months ago.”

“I knew something was going on,” I muttered.

“I’m sorry I kept it from you for so long… I just wanted to make sure it was real between us.”

“And is it?”

“Very much so. We’ve fallen in love.”

“That’s some long-distance relationship.”

“I stay with him when I fly out there. I see him as often as possible.”

I snorted. “And you think he’s faithful all the times you’re not around?”

“Don’t.” She cut a hand through the air. “Those are your trust issues, India. Not mine.”

My blood boiled with indignation. She was completely naïve if she thought for one second this guy wasn’t’ a loser. She had chosen badly before, after all. I had a right to the dread that was making me feel sick.

“I just wanted to give you a heads-up that it’s serious.”

“What does that even mean?”

“It means that if this is going where I think it’s going, then that might mean a big life change for us.”

Oh, hell.

I stared at her in horror.

Hayley sighed wearily at the expression I wasn’t even trying to conceal. “I’m going to make a cup of tea. I’m tired so we’ll talk about Jay another time.” She turned but then stopped to stare at me sadly. “Thanks for being so happy for me, by the way.”

That didn’t even deserve a response.

There was a time Hayley couldn’t give a damn about my happiness. I felt it only fair that I feel apathetic now about hers.

 

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Samantha Young’s THE IMPOSSIBLE VASTNESS OF US – Review & Excerpt Tour

June 19th

BookWorm221 – Review & Excerpt

Clare’s Mad About Books – Review & Excerpt

Joyful Shimmy – Review & Excerpt

Little Red’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Naturally Nerdy Books – Review & Excerpt

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Book Boyfriends – Review & Excerpt

June 20th

Beware Of The Reader – Review & Excerpt

Books For The Living – Review

Kindle and Me – Review & Excerpt

Melissa’s Book Obsession – Review

Read more sleep less – Review

To Be Reviewed Books – Review & Excerpt

June 21st

A Fortress of Books – Excerpt

Becky on Books – Excerpt

Enjoying life a day at a time – Review

Mustreadbooksordie – Review & Excerpt

MrsLeif’s Two Fangs AboutItBook Reviews – Review & Excerpt

SJ’s Book Blog – Excerpt

June 22nd

Actin’ Up with Books – Review

Books,Dreams,Life – Excerpt

Fiction Fare – Review & Excerpt

Movies, Shows, & Books – Excerpt

Take Me Away To A Great Read – Review & Excerpt

What Is That Book About – Excerpt

June 23rd

A Literary Perusal – Review & Excerpt

Adventures in Writing – Excerpt

BJ’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Ficwishes – Review

Kimberly’s Hot Reads – Review & Excerpt

Read, Write, Design – Review & Excerpt

June 24th

Ali’s Reviews and More – Review & Excerpt

Crazii Bitches Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Lacey’s Love Of Literature – Review & Excerpt

Nose Stuck in a Book – Review & Excerpt

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Review & Excerpt

June 25th

All Romance Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Book Lovers Hangout – Review & Excerpt

PBC – Excerpt

Ramblings From This Chick – Excerpt

TSK TSK What to Read – Review & Excerpt

With Love for Books – Review

June 26th

Angie and Jessica’s Dreamy Reads – Review & Excerpt

Book Reader Chronicles – Review & Excerpt

Calling All Bookaholics – Review & Excerpt

Liezel – Review & Excerpt

Reads & Reviews – Review

The Readdicts – Review & Excerpt

June 27th

4 the Love of Reading – Review & Excerpt

ADDICTED TO BOOKS – Review & Excerpt

Lisa Loves Literature – Review

Miss Riki – Review & Excerpt

Peace Love Books – Review

The Inked In Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

June 28th

Bookalicious Babes Blog – Review & Excerpt

Greyland Reviews – Excerpt

Literary lust – Review

My Girlfriends Couch – Review & Excerpt

Read Love Blog – Review & Excerpt

The Life of a BooknerdAddict – Review & Excerpt

June 29th

Author Groupies – Review

Blushing babes are up all – Review & Excerpt

Book Enticer – Review & Excerpt

The Book Avenue – Review & Excerpt

The Review Loft – Review & Excerpt

Three chicks and their books – Review & Excerpt

June 30th

I Read Indie – Excerpt

Shh Moms Reading – Review & Excerpt

The Bookish Introvert – Review

Total Book Geek – Review & Excerpt

Vi3tbabe – Review & Excerpt

Witchy Richey’s Booktastic Reviews – Review & Excerpt

July 1st

Book Babes Unite – Review & Excerpt

Cocktails and Books – Review & Excerpt

Dog-Eared Daydreams – Review

Southern Belle Book Blog – Excerpt

The Fairest of All Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

 

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Samantha Young is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows. Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook& hardback June 2017

Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for Hero. On Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015.

Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

 

 

The Color Project, Sierra Abrams – Blog Tour

BANNER

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22892448Bernice Aurora Wescott has one thing she doesn’t want anyone to know: her name. That is, until Bee meets Levi, the local golden boy who runs a charity organization called The Color Project.

Levi is not at all shy about attempting to guess Bee’s real name; his persistence is one of the many reasons why Bee falls for him. But while Levi is everything she never knew she needed, giving up her name would feel like a stamp on forever. And that terrifies her.

When unexpected news of an illness in the family drains Bee’s summer of everything bright, she is pushed to the breaking point. Losing herself in The Color Project—a world of weddings, funerals, cancer patients, and hopeful families that the charity funds—is no longer enough. Bee must hold up the weight of her family, but to do that, she needs Levi. She’ll have to give up her name and let him in completely or lose the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

For fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson, THE COLOR PROJECT is a story about the three great loves of life—family, friendship, and romance—and the bonds that withstand tragedy.

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Such A Good Girl, Amanda K. Morgan – Blog Tour

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32333302Things to know about Riley Stone:

Riley Stone is just about perfect. (Ask anyone.)
She has a crush on her French teacher, Alex Belrose. (And she suspects he likes her, too.)
Riley has her entire life planned out. (The plan is nonnegotiable.)
She’s never had a secret she couldn’t keep. (Not ever.)
Riley is sure that her life is on the right track. (And nothing will change that.)
She’s nothing like a regular teenager. (But she doesn’t have any problem admitting that.)
Riley doesn’t usually play games. (But when she does, shealways wins.)

She thinks a game is about to start…
But Riley always has a plan…
And she always wins.

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The Star Touched Queen, Roshani Chokshi – Book Review

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25203675Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

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The Star Touched Queen is the story of Maya. Maya, a princess of Bharata, has a terrible horoscope which states that her marriage will result in death and destruction. Because of this, she is shunned in the palace. All the bad things that happen around her are blamed on Maya’s horoscope, stating that her presence was the bad omen which made bad things happen. Maya just wants people to stop treating her the way they do. She dreams of being a scholar, because she knows that after knowing her horoscope, no one will want to marry her and she couldn’t descend to the throne as she is a girl. But, her life changes when her father arranges for a swayamvara, for her to chose a groom for herself from a platoon of princes, for a political alliance. Maya choses Amar and starts to fall for him, but he has his own secrets, which cause a rift between them and leave Maya in a place where she is fighting, not only for her own life, but for that of the world.

What I absolutely loved about the story was the writing. It was lush and beautiful, full of imagery and context and simile. The narrative is captivating and you can’t help but love it. Yes, the extreme amount of ‘purple prose’ used got on my nerves in places, but it was such a refreshing change to read something like this. A feast for the eyes. This book is extremely well written with SO MANY PRETTY WORDS. I adore that!

The plot is basic and simple. I think that is the beauty of it. The motivation of characters to act the way they do is simple – love, jealousy, revenge. It shows how far a person can go to just extract revenge for something they believe is the fault of someone else. The whole book revolved around the revenge plot of one woman who felt that Amar had wronged her.

I liked Maya, the MC, an okay amount. She started as this headstrong girl who wanted to break free of the patriarchy and carve her own path herself. I really admired that about her. But, halfway through, she did such a stupid and naive thing. I mean, I couldn’t believe she did it. Her character arc for the first half had shown that she was reluctant to trust anyone, but then, suddenly, she’s blindly trusting this one person, just because she saw one memory of the two of them together. I didn’t like that part. I mean, Amar had been trying to gain her trust for half the book and she didn’t trust him, was quick to write him off, but she trusted this person within seconds of meeting them. It didn’t make any sense to me. Especially since the story started moving forward only from there.

And then, there’s Amar. He was an enigma and mystery in the beginning of the story and he stayed that way till the end. Literally. By the end of the story, all I knew about Amar was what job he had and that he loved Maya unconditionally. That is it. Amar and Maya had maybe 10 complete, meaningful conversations in the story and more than half of them were before Amar could tell Maya anything about him and his kingdom. I would have liked to know more about Amar, about who he is as a person. Is he kind, smart, charming? Or is he villainous and cruel? I don’t know. I wish I did.

The worst disappointment about this book is how stilted the romance is. Maya and Amar both are prima facie great characters and they had amazing chemistry in the beginning. Their relationship could have been beautiful, but, it was not explored in the story. I wish they had interacted more, spent more time together, gotten to know each other. Amar appears after 5 – 6 chapters in the story and the second half is virtually free of him. He only appears in the last 30 pages. So, yes, he didn’t have much screen time, but what time they had together is glossed over, just saying that Amar was showing Maya around the palace and all its intricacies. They could have been a great couple and I wish that their relationship had been given more screen time. I really do.

What I absolutely adored about this book was all the references to Indian Mythology that were scattered throughout the book. Some of them wove into the main theme beautifully and some were mentioned in the passing as stories and folk tales, but I loved them all. It felt so good to read about them.

I felt that this book could have been so much more beautiful if the author had explored Amar’s character more. There were good things and bad things, but overall, reading TSTQ was a beautiful journey and I enjoyed it, for the most part.

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Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon IN | B&N | Book Depository | Wordery

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13695109Roshani grew up in Georgia, where she acquired a Southern accent but does not use it unless under duress. She has a luck dragon that looks suspiciously like a Great Pyrenees dog. Her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Uncanny Magazine, Shimmer, and Book Smugglers. She is the 2016 finalist for the Andre Norton Award, and a 2016 Locus finalist for Best First Novel. Her short story, The Star Maiden, was longlisted for the British Fantasy Science Award.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Internet Famous, Danika Stone – Blog Tour

Internet Famous

by Danika Stone

Publisher: Swoon Reads

Release Date: June 6, 2017

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Romance

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Synopsis:

High school senior and internet sensation Madison Nakama seems to have it all: a happy family, good grades, and a massive online following for her pop-culture blog. But when her mother suddenly abandons the family, Madi finds herself struggling to keep up with all of her commitments.Fandom to the rescue! As her online fans band together to help, an online/offline flirtation sparks with Laurent, a French exchange student. Their internet romance—played out in the comments section of her MadLibs blog—attracts the attention of an internet troll who threatens the separation of Madi’s real and online personas. With her carefully constructed life unraveling, Madi must uncover the hacker’s identity before he can do any more damage, or risk losing the people she loves the most… Laurent included.

Oh, I had so much fun reading this one! It is such a cute, adorable read!
Internet Famous is the story of Madi, a blogger, and her romance with Laurent, who is an ardent follower of her blog. Yes, dream story right there, ladies and gentlemen! I mean, all of us here who blog can relate to so many things in this story. The pressure of posting, the need for good content and the trolls. All of it. Which is what I loved about this. I identified with a lot of stuff that was happening in Madi’s life. But, I’m nowhere near as famous as she is (she is Internet Famous, after all. She has like, 60000 followers and innumerable hits on all her posts.)
I like how Madi, despite her internet fame, is a shy, reserved girl who doesn’t boast of her follower count to anyone who will listen. With huge following she has and all the fan merch she sells, it would be easy to slip and become condescending, but she isn’t like that. In fact, she is so baffled that people follow her blog. I really like that about her. And I love how she takes care of her sister, Sarah. Sarah plays a huge role in the book. She has special needs and gets thrown off when her schedule changes even by a minute. Her life is meticulously planned and Madi is a huge part of this meticulous life. So, she’s always there for her sister and I adore how much effort she puts into her relationship with Sarah. It is endearing. She is such a great MC. I like how she has no airs and she behaves like a normal teenager. Simple stuff aggravates her and she is moody and short tempered at times. She feels like she has the weight of the world on her shoulders. It’s great to read about her because I was exactly like her when I was 18.
And, then, there’s Laurent! He’s such an adorkable little cinnamon roll. I adore him so much. He’s always there when Madi needs him. He’s a great boyfriend and an even better friend. He’s supportive and a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, whenever Madi has issues. He’s just… He’s amazing. I adore him. I love how he goes out of his way to make sure that Madi is okay and how he’s always reassuring her with all the drama going on in her life. He just makes it so easy to love him.
I love how family centric this is. Sarah is always mention atleast once every two pages and her parents are always there in the background. She has a conversation with her father every so often and he takes an active interest in the life of both his daughters. I don’t particularly like Madi’s mom. She assumes too much and comes off as really selfish in majority of the book. It feels as though she believes that Sarah is a responsibility and not a kid. I felt that she just pawned off all her responsibility on Madi and her husband so that she could go follow her dreams. Yes, following your dreams is important, but she had responsibilities and it felt as though she just shunned them. She always runs away from conflict, so it feels as though she can’t stand up for anyone. Sarah’s issues are highlighted regularly, but it isn’t like the author is forcing it out of the blue. It’s always there, humming in the background, making it’s presence known in subtle ways. I especially love how that is handled in the book. Kudos to Danika for doing it so well.
All in all, Internet Famous is an enjoyable read and I definitely recommend it to others!
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Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both teens (All the Feels and Internet Famous) adults (Edge of Wild and Intaglio). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.

 

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  • Please read the Rules and Regs before entering
  • Runs through 6/21

 

Roar, Cora Carmack – Release Day Review

From New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack comes her debut young adult fantasy, ROAR! Now available, ROAR takes readers on an adventure filled with charismatic characters in an enthralling world sure to keep them turning the pages. Grab your copy today!

 

About ROAR (Stormheart #1):

New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack’s young adult debut: Roar.

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.
She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

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Immortal Fire, Annette Marie – Book Review

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Once, Emi believed the heavenly gods were righteous and wise, while the earthly yokai spirits were bloodthirsty and evil. But with a traitorous deity poised to destroy her world, and the yokaistanding as humanity’s only defense, the lies of her upbringing have toppled to reveal a far more terrifying reality.

Despite the looming threat, Emi can’t escape her greatest distraction: Shiro, the fox yokai who has so deftly claimed her heart for his own. Soon—too soon—she will have to break the curse that binds his magic and memories. And once the ancient power inside him awakens, the yokai she loves will be changed forever.

As the earthly gods gather to wage war against the heavens, Emi and Shiro must gamble everything to turn the tide against their immortal, all-powerful foes. Together, they will find a way to save her world—even if it means losing each other.

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

Okay. Okay. Okay. Breathe in, breathe out. It is over. Starts crying all over again. I have A LOT OF FEELS FOR THIS, OKAY? A LOT OF FEELS. IT IS OVER AND MY POOR LITTLE HEART CANNOT COPE.

I LOVED IT SO MUCH. SO MUCH. SO MUCH. GOD, SO GOOD. I LOVE IT.

First of all, so much cover love. I mean, it’s purple! And so good. I adore the cover. It’s just amazing. How can you not like it? I think it’s impossible to not like this cover.

And then, the story itself. I loved it. I absolutely adored how Marie wrapped the entire story up. It was so satisfying after everything that went down. I loved Shiro. Obviously, I did. I really, really love him. He’s just so amazing. I have liked him since the first book and then I fell for him in the second and the third one just gave me all the feels because Shiro is my baby and I adore him so very much. His character arc was just as interesting as Dark Tempest. His memories are returning and that is causing strain on his relationship with Emi, but they soldier through it all. And I like that. Yes, Shiro comes off as too overprotective in places, but if you overlook that, he is just so good. I adore him and love him. Did I mention that I absolutely adore him? Cause I do!

And, then, Emi. She has grown so much since the first book and I love all the growth her character has undergone. She is timid and demure but a fierce warrior all the same and she takes charge of the situation. She makes the best of what is available to her and she just gives me goals. She’s such a relatable heroine. I really like her a lot. She is a great main character.

As always, the relationship between Shiro and Emi is adorable. I love how much they love and support each other and how they’re always there for each other and just being there makes it better. They don’t hold each other back, in fact, they nurture each other. I love seeing them together.

The story is action packed and all those scenes are so amazingly written. The plot is simple but it kept me engaged. It predictably slowed a little somewhere in the middle, but I love it nonetheless.

All in all, an amazing ending to the story and a very satisfying conclusion! Go read this series!

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8546572Annette Marie is the author of the Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, which includes the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award nominee Yield the Night. Her first love is fantasy, a limitless realm of creativity where she can break all the boring rules of real life, but fast-paced urban fantasy, bold heroines, and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She proudly admits she has a thing for dragons, and her editor has politely inquired as to whether she intends to include them in every single book.

Annette lives in the frozen winter wasteland of northern Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad). She shares her life with her remarkably patient, comparatively sensible husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

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Dark Tempest, Annette Marie – Book Review

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32605659Emi has dedicated her life to becoming the perfect vessel for the goddess Amaterasu, but the insidious betrayal of another deity has changed everything. Now Amaterasu has charged Emi with an urgent mission: to find and free the earthly gods before mankind is brought to its knees beneath divine tyranny.

At her side is Shiro, the mysterious fox spirit. When she first saved his life, she could never have imagined that behind his cunning and confidence, he was lost—his power bound by a devastating curse and his memories obscured. His veiled history is somehow tied to the missing gods, but he can’t remember how or why.

As their search leads them into the murky depths of the spirit realm, the shadows of Shiro’s past begin to emerge. With each brief awakening of his true self, she loses a little more of him. The fate of the heavens and earth rest in her mortal hands, and she must find the missing gods before time runs out for her world—and for Shiro.

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

Okay, so this book. Just, this book. *sighs* I LOVE IT. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. GAHHHH! IT IS AMAZING. I LOVE IT. GO READ IT RIGHT NOW!

Yes, it is that good. Dark Tempest picks up where Red Winter left off and is just as amazing a story as the first one in the trilogy. I loved the characters, the plot, the structure, all of it. So much. Yes, the first half of the book is slow. I had a similar issue with Red Winter, but once the book picks up, it really picks up, you know? So much action, drama, mystery and romance. You can’t help but love it!

I love how Emi comes into her own in this story. Yes, she was a good protag in book one and she had a great character arc then, but in this one, she really grows. So much. She’s just amazing. She’s smart and kind and just so good. I also love how she’s not badass and ready to fight anything and everything thrown her way. There are so many people who are much more powerful than she is and that is totally okay with her. I like that about her a lot. It makes her so much more relatable than one badass heroine who can take on everything. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE SUCH HEROINES. THEY’RE AMAZING. But, I loved how Emi wasn’t like that. It made her a better character.

And then, there’s Shiro. My babyboy. GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! So many heart eyes for that perfect, amazing, amazing, amazing boy. I love him so much. I love him, I love him, I love him. So very much. He’s snarky and smarmy and flirty. So very flirty. But, he’s shown being vulnerable and lost and panicked too. This story had more of Shiro than the first one. We learn a lot about his past and who he was and why he is the way he is. His past beings out so many of his vulnerabilities and he feels like he’s not good enough many a time, but it doesn’t take away from his personality and he is his usual charming self. I love that. His personality is so varied and he doesn’t adhere to one emotion all the time. That is amazing!

All in all, such an amazing read with so many elements and such great writing! A definite must read! I’m looking forward to starting book three after reading this!

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Goodreads | Amazon

1459165672531

8546572Annette Marie is the author of the Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, which includes the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award nominee Yield the Night. Her first love is fantasy, a limitless realm of creativity where she can break all the boring rules of real life, but fast-paced urban fantasy, bold heroines, and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She proudly admits she has a thing for dragons, and her editor has politely inquired as to whether she intends to include them in every single book.

Annette lives in the frozen winter wasteland of northern Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad). She shares her life with her remarkably patient, comparatively sensible husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Secrets of Skin and Stone, Wendy Laine – Book Review

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34388622Something is wrong in Hidden Creek. The sleepy Alabama town is more haunted than any place fiend hunter Grisham Caso has ever seen. Unearthed graves, curse bags, and spilled blood all point to an evil that could destroy his gargoyle birthright. The town isn’t safe for anyone, and everyone says fiery Piper Devon knows why.

Piper wants to leave Hidden Creek behind. She’s had enough of secrets—they hide in the shadows of her room and tell her terrible things are coming. Too-charming city boy Grisham might be her only chance to save herself.

To survive, Piper and Grisham have to shed their secrets and depend only on each other. But what lurks in Hidden Creek still might take everything away from them, including each other.

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

Okay, first things first. I LOVE THE COVER. IT IS SO DARK AND GRITTY. Gah! I love it! The cover drew me into the book in the first place and it is definitely one of those cover buy spurts we book mongers tend to have. I really adore the cover! 😀

What I liked about this book was the mystery. It was intriguing and kept up till the end so that the reader was hooked into reading. The first half was great, but towards the end, the book got extremely slow and I was just thinking that the author should hurry up and reveal the mystery already. Apart from that, I have no complaints!

I loved the characters so much. They weren’t overly done and just so real. I could imagine people like that and that was gratifying. I love that the book had a trigger warning in the beginning especially because it was for self harm. From what I know, it can be pretty triggering and anyone who is going into the book needs full disclosure. It was nice to see that that was the first page of the book.

It’s #OwnVoices because the author herself suffers from OCD and was into cutting like the MC Piper. I like how her character is handled. She is OCD. She knows it and she tries her best despite her circumstances. I like how her illness didn’t miraculously disappear on meeting her love interest or for whatever other reason because that is not how it happens. So, points for that. I absolutely loved that aspect of the book. Thank you, Wendy. I also like how the illness wasn’t demonized, how it didn’t seek to make Piper seem other. I also like how the author handled the issue of self harm. There aren’t many great ways to do it because at the end of the day self harm is self harm, but she did a pretty good job and for that I commend her. I also liked how these two things didn’t define who Piper is as an individual. She is strong and smart and intelligent and brave. I like her. I like her a lot.

Then, there’s Gris. He’s got the mysterious air to him. But, he’s sweet and caring. He doesn’t come off as arrogant or self centered and full of himself like boys in such novels usually are. So, I like that a lot. I like how dedicated he is. He’s ready to go to so many lengths to save Piper. And then, he’s on a mission to prove to his father that he is worthy enough. His struggles were showed nicely. I like how the author showcased that even he was insecure in himself and his capabilities. Frankly, we need more such boys because more often than not, the male MCs are shown as untouchable and arrogant and without a care in the world. And Gris was nothing like that which automatically put him in my good graces.

And then, there’s the shipping. It was a bit of an insta love with the enemies to lovers kind of trope but I enjoyed it. Their relationship was nice to read about as it unfolded and they had plenty of cute moments which made me all the more happy because I am such a sucker for romance. I like how things were tied up with their relationship in the end. It was a bit open ended but it was realistic because Gris was never meant to stay in Hidden Creek, so the hopeful note at which it ended where it could go on to be more but maybe not was fitting.

All in all, I really enjoyed the book. It had all the elements of an interesting read and I would recommend it to people who are looking for paranormal romance. 🙂

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Red Winter, Annette Marie – Book Review

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31829155In a few short months, Emi’s mortal life will end when she becomes the human host of an immortal goddess. Carefully hidden from those who would destroy her, she has prepared her mind, body, and soul to unite with the goddess—and not once has she doubted her chosen fate.

Shiro is a spirit of the earth and an enemy of the goddess Emi will soon host. Mystery shrouds his every move and his ruby eyes shine with cunning she can’t match and dares not trust. But she saved his life, and until his debt is paid, he is hers to command—whether she wants him or not.

On the day they meet, everything Emi believes comes undone, swept away like snow upon the winter wind. For the first time, she wants to change her fate—but how can she erase a destiny already wrought in stone? Against the power of the gods, Shiro is her only hope … and hope is all she has left.

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*Review copy received in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

Red Winter is the story of Emi, who has been chosen to be the vessel for a goddess. She seems eager to embrace her fate, is looking forward to it even. But, an important truth about the union of the goddess’ spirit and her body has been hidden from her. When she learns what it is, she isn’t eager to embrace her fate anymore. Instead, she wants out, but she can’t because being a vessel is all she knows, is all she’s been prepared for, her entire life. And, with forces trying to kill her, it’s a race against death.

I like Emi’s character. She’s the portrait of a lady, always doing what is expected of her, never deviating. She has accepted her fate and doesn’t question it or what she has to give up because of her fate. But, as the date for her sacrifice nears, she starts questioning whether she is actually ready to give it all up and her doubt is fueled by Katsuo, the sohei who is assigned to protect her from harm. What I didn’t like was that her character didn’t have much of a development arc. She was always compassionate, always curious, right from the beginning to the end. And she didn’t really change her beliefs from the beginning of the story to the end of it. But, there’s two more books to come, so I’m holding out hope for her.

Then, there is Shiro, the kitsune who owes Emi a life debt. He’s mysterious and dangerous and has an agenda of his own. He tries to protect Emi when he can, but his selfish motives are clear throughout the book. I like that about him. He never pretends to be someone who he isn’t. He’s established as an untrustworthy character and he doesn’t shy away from it, in fact, he embraces it wholeheartedly. That’s amazing.

Then, there’s Katsuo. He’s Emi’s bodyguard but they have a sort of complicated history. It is alluded that he may have feelings for her and Emi sure had them in the past. So, their relationship is complicated to say the least. But, Katsuo cares about Emi a great deal. And he’s kind and compassionate and caring. He’s always helping Emi whenever she needs it without question. I really like his character.

All in all, this is a nice kickstart to the trilogy. The starting 100 pages were a little slow but then it picked up and became this intriguing mess of want and need and bargains for what you want. Everything comes with a price and I like how entangled all these bargains are because everyone wants something from someone else.

So, yes I would definitely recommend this to you if you’re into mythology and retelling and fantasy.

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Goodreads | Amazon

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8546572Annette Marie is the author of the Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, which includes the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award nominee Yield the Night. Her first love is fantasy, a limitless realm of creativity where she can break all the boring rules of real life, but fast-paced urban fantasy, bold heroines, and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She proudly admits she has a thing for dragons, and her editor has politely inquired as to whether she intends to include them in every single book.

Annette lives in the frozen winter wasteland of northern Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad). She shares her life with her remarkably patient, comparatively sensible husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter