Book Review: Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone #gothic #youngadult #NetGalley

A lush gothic fantasy about monsters and magic, set on the banks of a cursed lake. Perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Brigid Kemmerer.

There are monsters in the world.

When Violeta Graceling arrives at haunted Lakesedge estate, she expects to find a monster. She knows the terrifying rumors about Rowan Sylvanan, who drowned his entire family when he was a boy. But neither the estate nor the monster are what they seem.

There are monsters in the woods.

As Leta falls for Rowan, she discovers he is bound to the Lord Under, the sinister death god lurking in the black waters of the lake. A creature to whom Leta is inexplicably drawn…

There’s a monster in the shadows, and now it knows my name.

Now, to save Rowan—and herself—Leta must confront the darkness in her past, including unraveling the mystery of her connection to the Lord Under.

Add to Goodreads

MY REVIEW – 5 stars

Full of magic, darkness, hope, and love, Lakesedge is a gripping tale you won’t soon forget. It will pull you in, hold you in it’s grasp, and leave you feeling emotionally wrung out.

What would you give to save those you love? It’s a question Violeta must answer, multiple times, as she begs Lord Under for help. This dark tale has a Hades and Persephone feel to it. The more we see Lord Under, the more I became convinced what he truly wanted was for Violeta to offer herself to him. The dynamic between the two is quite compelling, and while Violeta’s love for Rowan is something more pure and utterly human, I often felt her place was truly meant to be beside Lord Under.

The secondary characters add a depth to the story, giving it a richer feel. The author created an interesting world where boys crushing on boys and girls crushing on girls seemed to be the norm. With Arien preferring romances where the prince and knight fall in love, and Clover openly flirting with Thea, it set the story in a world where people were more accepting of one another — as long as you weren’t a monster.

With the book ending with a bit of an unfinished feel to it, I’m hopeful there will be a continuation. And yes, I will definitely buy it! Lakesedge may be Ms. Clipstone’s first novel, but I’m already a huge fan!

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

BOOK REVIEW: Artie and the Wolf Moon by Olivia Stephens #graphicnovel #ArtieandtheWolfMoon

After sneaking out against her mother’s wishes, Artie Irvin spots a massive wolf—then watches it don a bathrobe and transform into her mom. Thrilled to discover she comes from a line of werewolves, Artie asks her mom to share everything—including the story of Artie’s late father. Her mom reluctantly agrees. And to help Artie figure out her own wolflike abilities, her mom recruits some old family friends.

Artie thrives in her new community and even develops a crush on her new friend Maya. But as she learns the history of werewolves and her own parents’ past, she’ll find that wolves aren’t the scariest thing in the woods—vampires are.

Add to Goodreads

MY REVIEW – 5 stars!

Artie and the Wolf Moon is a fast-paced, thrilling read!

While the first chapter started a bit slow, the story quickly picked up. I enjoyed the dynamic between Artie and her mom. They weren’t just mother and daughter, but had a special friendship too. She supported Artie, and encouraged her love of photography.

The werewolf aspect didn’t kick into high gear until nearly the halfway point, but things really took off afterward. The action between the wolves and vampires added the right amount of excitement.

The artwork is both beautiful and eerie at times. Overall, a nicely done graphic novel.

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley. The review above is only my opinion.

BOOK REVIEW: The Case of the Cursed Crop by Michael Anthony Steele #childrensfiction #TheCaseoftheCursedCrop #NetGalley

When Batman and Mystery Inc. arrive at the same farm outside of Gotham City, they soon find themselves in for the fright of their lives! Every time an eerie fog rolls in, fearsome farm monsters come out to play. Can the Caped Crusader help Scooby and the gang crack this case of cursed cropland before the creepy creatures carry them away?

Add to Goodreads

MY REVIEW – 4 stars

Cute story for kids who love Scooby and Batman.

Mystery Inc is off to solve another case, this time near Gotham City. They accidentally use the Bat Signal and the Dark Knight arrives. The story just spooky enough to thrill young readers, but not scary enough to cause nightmares. If your children love solcing crime with Batman and mysteries with Mystery Inc, they’ll enjoy The Case of the Cursed Crop!

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley. The review above is only my opinion.

BOOK REVIEW: Songbird by Jenn Larson #childrensfiction #NetGalley #Songbird

A Story About Having the Courage to DREAM BIG!

In Songbird, author Jenn Larson encourages kids to believe in their dreams—even when no one else does. With delightful illustrations and an inspiring message, this book shows kids what it looks like to set a goal and work hard to reach it.

While most birds dream of being seed gatherers or nest builders, Sydney Sparrow has a dream that is a little bit out of the ordinary. She wants to be a great conductor with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra! But when the other birds start questioning her dream, Sydney wonders if she has set her sights too high.

With a little courage and determination—and a whole lot of practice—can Sydney Sparrow turn her dream into a reality?

Add to Goodreads

Published by National Center for Youth Issues

Book illustrator: Polona Lovšin

E-Book – 9781953945389

MY REVIEW – 5 stars

Songbird is a delightful read that will leave readers full of hope and excitement!

Sydney Sparrow has a dream, different from any other sparrow. Her family and her teacher discourage her from trying to become a music conductor… because sparrows are meant to build nest, gather seeds, and guard eggs. But Sydney refuses to give up, and through hard work and determination, she’s able to realize her dream.

All too often, children (and adults) are told their dreams are impractical. I love the fact this story encourages readers to chase their dreams, no matter what others might think. Anything is possible with hard work and determination.

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley. The review above is only my opinion.

BOOK REVIEW: Memento Monstrum by Jochen Til #childrensfiction #fantasy #NetGalley

A biting memoir with an over the top package! 

This is your warning!

This book contains Count Dracula’s memoirs. And as you would expect, there are plenty of hideous creatures in it—giant yetis, insidious werewolves, slimy fish monsters—maybe you shouldn’t read it!

You might learn things you didn’t know about monsters before. Hair-raising things that make these monsters appear . . .friendly . . .even downright human. So, take my advice. Put the book down and move on before you get caught in its clutches.

Sincerely, Van Helsing

PS-But if you do read this book, you will be enchanted by the incredibly imaginative full-color illustrations through out, the fabulously appealing cover, and the original wit captured within.

Available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble

BOOK REVIEW – 4 stars!

Such a cute, fun book! Full of positive messages and a bit of humor, kids will enjoy reading aboud Dracula’s life as he tells the stories to his grandchildren. I enjoyed the unique spin on VanHelsing, and his ineptitude in killing Dracula. The artwork was an added bonus and very well done!

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchance for an honest review. The review above is only my opinion.

BOOK REVIEW: The Redwood Asylum by L.A. Detwiler #paranormal #horror @ladetwiler1

From the USA Today Bestseller L.A. Detwiler comes a new eerie horror filled with secrets, ghosts, and murder.

The dead do talk … if you’re brave enough to hear their sinister secrets.

In a thick forest sits a forgotten stone building, The Redwood Asylum. Once inside, the criminally insane, the darkly disturbed, and the eternally confused residents learn one thing very quickly: they are at the mercy of ruthless evil in many forms.

At twenty-six, Jessica Rosen starts a new job at Redwood in the hopes of forgetting an insidious past. She quickly realizes, however, that Redwood harbors malevolent secrets and beings in every chilly corner. On her second day adjusting to her job, the unstable man in 5B quickly latches onto Jessica in an unsettling way. When his rantings and warnings start to make sense, though, Jessica will be taken on a ride of secrets, murder, and dangerous beings. As she begins to uncover the horrifying truths behind the man’s past , the terrors of Redwood Asylum will follow her home and make her question her own sanity.

Can Jessica solve the secrets of the man in 5B in time to save herself, or will the terrors trap her in Redwood’s evil clutches forever?

A spine-tingling page-turner by USA Today Bestseller L.A. Detwiler perfect for paranormal horror fans.

ADD TO GOODREADS

Release Date: March 12, 2021

Preorder at Amazon

MY REVIEW:

5 stars!

Who doesn’t love a good horror story involving ghosts?

The way the story is narrated reminds me of Stephen King’s Rose Red, which happens to be a favorite of mine. Yes, there have been countless books about haunted asylums, and there will certainly be more. The ramblings of a mad man, locked away at Redwood, make nurse Jessica sympathetic. She wants to help him find peace, not realizing she’s placing herself in danger.

Jessica’s role in the story wasn’t just that of a nurse who wanted to help others. She had a dark secret in her past, one that would play a prominent role in her future. She also seemed to fancy herself a detective, and with determination, dug into the patient’s past trying to find the truth. Sadly, some things are better left buried.

Overall, I enjoyed the story. I’d definitely be interested in more stories featuring Redwood, and I want to know more about the other staff.

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. The review above is only my opinion.

BOOK REVIEW: A Debt of Dishonor by Lillian Marek #historicalromance #bookreview

Kate Russell is furious.

It was bad enough that her father had let her grow up in virtual poverty, but now her dissolute brother wants to use her as payment for his debts. She runs away, determined to make her way so that she will never again be at the mercy of powerful men.

Then she encounters the Duke of Ashleigh.

He has overcome the shame of his parents’ scandalous lives and has a well-deserved reputation for honorable behavior. Then he encounters Kate, the niece of an old friend. There is some mystery about her background.

She is not the sort of well-bred lady of impeccable reputation that he plans to marry someday, but he can’t get her out of his mind.

Add to your Goodreads

MY REVIEW

3 1/2 stars

The first romance I read was a Regency, back when I was only twelve or thirteen and I had to sneak it from my mother’s room. I’ve loved them ever since. The description for A Debt of Dishonor immediately intrigued me, and I knew I needed to read it.

The story flowed well, and I enjoyed the characters. Especially Kate’s fire! The banter between her and the Duke made me smile and at times outright laugh. It was clear from the beginning something was brewing between them, even when they wouldn’t admit it to themselves. As far as villains go, Farnsworth was dastardly and completely insane. A truly vile man I wanted to bash over the head every time he entered a scene.

There were so many characters! And not just small parts either. Mrs. Darling, the Duke’s family, his friends, and Kate’s friends from back home all had their parts to play. At times, I found it a bit tedious to suddenly be in the point of view of a minor character. Instead of driving the story forward, it made it feel as if it had stalled while I had to wait and find out what was going on with Kate and the Duke. I can appreciate the minor characters’ perspectives of what was happening, but it seemed completely unnecessary. As did the side romance with the Duke’s sister. It would have been better served in a book of their own. For me, it detracted from Kate and Peter’s romance.

Overall, A Debt of Dishonor kept me entertained and I enjoyed the book. I’m not quite certain if I liked it enough to necessarily read more in this series. It would depend on how much focus was given to the main characters. I give A Debt of Dishonor 3 1/2 stars.

*I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review above is only my opinion.

BOOK REVIEW: The Princess of Nothing (The Fate of Crowns) by Rebecca L. Garcia #YoungAdult #Fantasy @rlgarciabooks

Add to Goodreads

Run. Hide. Pray for escape.

Racing down the winding streets of Imperia, my only hope of reclaiming my throne is to escape. Unfortunately, that means returning to the one place I truly fear—Berovia.

My fears—it seems—were justified. In the dark underbelly of Berovia, I am captured by King Xenos’s men and thrown into the pits with traitors and criminals to pray for salvation I knew wouldn’t come. My only hope to make it out alive is by agreeing to marry the king’s arrogant son. But this union comes at a terrible price. If I agree to be his bride, my people may be stripped of their magic and forced into submission under Kiros’s reign. If I die, I leave my corruptible cousin, Edgar, to ruin my family’s rule.

Can I find a way to save my people and myself? Or, will I die as the princess of nothing?

Release Date: February 2, 2021

MY REVIEW:

5 stars

The saga continues as Winter fights for throne, her people, and struggles with the desires of her heart.

Book one hooked me, and the second installment in this fantastic series is no different. Intrigue, battles, love, and more fill the pages of The Princess of Nothing. If you’re ready to begin an epic journey fraught with danger, death, and love, you can’t go wrong with The Fate of Crowns series.

Winter fights for what she believes in, and will stop at nothing to reclaim her crown. Change is in the air, but it’s not the type the people need. With her cousin on the throne, the ways of the lunas have been threatened and will soon be a thing of the past. Unless Winter can find the courage and strength to take back what’s rightfully hers.

I enjoyed getting to see Winter grow. With each story, she matures a little more, and becomes more worthy of the crown she’s destined to wear. In book one, we saw her start as a spoiled child who believed everything she’d been told, refusing to question the beliefs she held dear were tainted. Until she met Cedric and the light fae opened her eyes to the world around her. In book two, she continues her journey of self-discovery, and learns more about herself and the world around her. By the end, Winter has grown from a spoiled girl to someone who wants to fight for the injustice of not only her people, but others who are treated unfairly.

Winter is full of passion and determination. But with anyone faced with such a heavy burden, she also has her doubts. She gains strength from her best friend, as well as the dark fae king and Cedric, her light fae prince. The secondary characters in this story add a richness to the book and help suck you into the world of magic.

As with the first installment, this one ends in a cliffhanger. While I typically dislike them, I find with The Fate of Crowns series, they only make me eagerly anticipate the next book. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Winter, Cedric, and even Blaise in book three. Very well done, Ms. Garcia! You’ve crafted another masterpiece.

*Disclaimer: The review above is only my opinion. I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

BOOK REVIEW: The Fate of Crowns by Rebecca Garcia #YoungAdult #Fantasy @rlgarciabooks

With my brother’s death came the crown and all the trappings that accompany it. Now, my father—the most dangerous man in Magaelor—seeks to control my future.

But fate has other plans.

Thrown into mer-filled waters, I’m dragged into the rival kingdom of Berovia. Surrounded by those who murdered my brother and wished my entire family dead, I must find my way back to my kingdom. There, a marriage between myself and the dark fae prince could bring peace to a century’s old division between the fae and sorcerers.

But dark revelations and deadly lies threaten to destroy my destiny. I must make the choice between my duty, family, and heart before it’s too late.

Will I allow myself to become the exalted Queen of everything? Or be reduced to a cautionary tale as the shattered princess of nothing?

The Fate of Crowns is a young adult fantasy, perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Laura Sebastian, Holly Black and Kendare Blake.

Add to your Goodreads

MY REVIEW

5 stars!

Magic, intrigue, betrayal, and a princess determined to protect her people,

In a time of fae and magic-wielding humans, when prejudices run deep, there’s one girl who could save them all. The princess first has to learn to see the world with her own eyes and stop believing the lies she’s been told her entire life. Her family isn’t as perfect as she believes, and those closest to her will cause her the most pain. Even when she finds herself in enemy lands, Winter can’t accept that things aren’t what they seem. So eager to please and protect her family, she’s blinded to the truths she faces every day. Will she ever be able to accept her entire life has been a lie?

The book was beautifully written, full of mystery and fantasy, friendship, and so much more. With strong characters, the tried and true plot of corrupt kingdoms, and enough action and drama to keep you turning the pages, The Fate of Crowns has proven to be a memorable tale. But be warned, it does end with a cliffhanger. I’ll be eagerly anticipating the next installment in this series.

The Fate of Crowns is a must-read!

*Disclaimer: The review above is only my opinion. I received a copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

BOOK REVIEW: Her Marine Next Door by Aliyah Burke #ContemporaryRomance #NetGalley @entangledpub

55967710. sy475

My next door neighbor Parker Jax is not my type. He’s covered in tats, rides a motorcycle, and his parties keep me up all night. The fact he’s sexy as sin doesn’t change the fact we are oil and water.

I’m a quiet artist. He’s a rowdy marine. I’ve got a broken heart. I’m convinced he doesn’t have a heart at all.

Thankfully, my bad-boy neighbor is on leave from the Marines for only thirty days. But then the jerk has to go and show me that he has a soft side beneath all those hard muscles. He actually leaves his own party to help me, and he didn’t even have to.

Fantastic. Now I owe him.

I’m not worried, though. What are the chances he’ll need me to do anything before the month is up?

But when a woman shows up with a kid at her side, knocking on Parker’s door, it turns out those chances are pretty good…

Add to Goodreads

Purchase from Entangled Publishing

My Review

5 stars!

He’s wanted her from the beginning, but Parker Jax can’t seem to go after the only woman who matters in this page-turning romance.

Love an alpha bad boy? Fake fiancé? Secret baby? This book has all that and more. Toss in a spurned woman bent on ruining Skylar, a hero who tends to fuck up, and a monster-in-law and that still doesn’t sum up this book. I was skeptical mixing so many tropes could work, but Ms. Burke pulled it off.

There were times I wanted to smack Parker for being an idiot, yell at Skylar for not sharing her past with him, and don’t get me started on Parker’s mom. I nearly disliked her character more than the one-night stand turned baby momma.

Want a drama filled ride full of heat, sweet moments, and even a little heartbreak? You can’t go wrong with Her Marine Next Door. You’ll be turning the pages, unable to stop reading until the very end.

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley. The review above is only my opinion.