Thursday, September 29, 2022

The Drowned Woods by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Ya'll I did it.  I've been doing so many book tours and author requests lately that my own TBR pile has sat untouched.  I finally...finally read a book I had been waiting to read.

I recieved this book from my Illumicrate subscription and I've just been looking at it longingly on my bookshelf until I managed to get all of my September deadlines out of the way. I feel so luck to have this signed special edition copy!


Once upon a time, the kingdoms of Wales were rife with magic and conflict, and eighteen-year-old Mererid “Mer” is well-acquainted with both. She is the last living water diviner and has spent years running from the prince who bound her into his service. Under the prince’s orders, she located the wells of his enemies, and he poisoned them without her knowledge, causing hundreds of deaths. After discovering what he had done, Mer went to great lengths to disappear from his reach. Then Mer’s old handler returns with a proposition: use her powers to bring down the very prince that abused them both.

The best way to do that is to destroy the magical well that keeps the prince’s lands safe. With a motley crew of allies, including a fae-cursed young man, the lady of thieves, and a corgi that may or may not be a spy, Mer may finally be able to steal precious freedom and peace for herself. After all, a person with a knife is one thing… but a person with a cause can topple kingdoms.

The Drowned Woods—set in the same world as The Bone Houses but with a whole new, unforgettable cast of characters—is part heist novel, part dark fairy tale.

Content Warnings: Kidnap, Torture, Death, Murder, Suicidal thoughts


So many things unraveled through out this book it constantly kept me guessing, and the end itself really blew be away. I loved Mer...she was tough, but relatable. The storytelling was so vivid that I caught myself turning the pages of the book quietly because the crew was of course I had to also be quiet so they didn't get caught. 😆😆

The Drowned Woods is a fantasy heist story with elements of Scottish lore, magic and complicated relationships. I've honestly never read a book like this before, it was so refreshingly original.

The corgi though was such an adorable addition and I love that the author used the dog to help the MC judge other people's character. If you didn't like dogs then you obviously couldn't be trusted. If you're a fantasy lover, looking for something completely different add this to your TBR. I haven't read The Bone Houses yet, but it's now on my radar. Have you read any of these? What did you think?

The Drowned Woods can be purchased on Amazon and Bookshop.

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Disclaimer: I purchased this book on my own and volunarily wrote this review. There are links to purchase the book included here in this post. By using these links you help support this blog. Thanks!

Friday, September 23, 2022

Queen and Conqueror by Isabelle Olmo

If you enjoy fantasy with a side of feminism and diverse main characters and a head strong female main character grab this book!


Almira was raised by a calculating father who forged her in political cunning. She’s prepared for this moment since childhood. Like pieces on a board, she lays out the players one by one.

One. King Alton, the brother-killer. The spare heir who killed his brother for lust of throne.

Two. The perfect seamstress. The people must admire a queen and welcome her with open arms. Even with a deadly armada behind her.

Three. The Queen’s Red Guard. The group of warrior women who have one purpose; to protect the queen at all costs. Even from her husband. Even from herself.

Queen & Conqueror is the first book in an epic feminist fantasy series told from the perspective of the women who rule and shape the future.

“Men will never be ready for women like us and it is not our job to ready them.


 Trigger warnings: death, child abuse, sexual content


I want to be Alimira when I grow up you guys. She is volunerable, and headstrong, she second guesses herself, and she's just so real. She not only surrounded herself with women, she uplifted them, and they sometimes checked her.  Like the truest friends will.

---Almira smiled and nodded. "Men will never be ready for women like us, and it is not our job to ready them."---

I love the elements fantasy tied in with feminism and diversity. This book was so refreshing. Almira was born in nobility, raised to lead by her father as his only living child. He makes sure she has the education and the tools to accomplish whatever she sets her mind to. She forms her Queen's Guard..a group of completley badass women who are her armoured guards.

When her husband dies in a war, she divises a plan and submits a marriage proposal to the king who killed her husband. And ya'll...he accepts. His initial plan is not necessarily a kind one, but things slowly begin to warm up. They both are cautious about giving their hearts to each was the SLOWEST of slow burns. So refreshing.

This book is filled with so many twists and turns and surprises. Of course I'm not going to tell you the juicy bits, but have tissues close by. Olmo really does a wonderful job pulling you into the characters and making you feel deeply connected to them.

If you enjoy a slow burn, or even an enemies to lovers with a side of strong women leads that is full of diversity then be sure to grab this book.

Queen and Conqueror can be purchased on Amazon.

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Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book free for review.  This however does not affect my opinions, as I do not leave a review for each book I receive. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

The Darkening by Sunya Mara


Sometimes the library temps me...and ya'll I was not dissapointed.  I found this book scrolling at the bottom of my library's main page while trying to get books my son needed for school for the next few weeks. This is one book that had escaped my radar, so I want to scream it from the rooftops.  I couldn't set this one down. If you're looking for a fantasy novel that's unique and fast paced -- you'll want to pick this one up.


Vesper Vale is the daughter of revolutionaries. Failed revolutionaries. When her mother was caught by the queen’s soldiers, they gave her a choice: death by the hangman’s axe, or death by the Storm that surrounds the city and curses anyone it touches. She chose the Storm. And when the queen’s soldiers—led by a paranoid prince—catch up to Vesper’s father after twelve years on the run, Vesper will do whatever it takes to save him from sharing that fate.

Even arm herself with her father’s book of dangerous experimental magic.

Even infiltrate the prince’s elite squad of soldier-sorcerers.

Even cheat her way into his cold heart.

But when Vesper learns that there’s more to the story of her mother’s death, she’ll have to make a choice if she wants to save her city: trust the devious prince with her family’s secrets, or follow her mother’s footsteps into the Storm.

My Rating!

Content Warnings: Death, Violence, Parent death


This book grabbed me from the start. I couldn't set it down, and it was a quick easy read. The world was unique, and the world building was brilliant. I love that Vesper wasn't a perfect person...she made mistakes, like all of us. She constantly walks with guilt and feeling like she's dissapointed her Pa. She has good intentions, but often finds herself in trouble...even as she is trying to do the right thing. She feels that their current predicament is because she didn't listen to him, and wrecklessly tried to save people from the storm as it came in. Don't play hero he had told her..and instead he ended up having to come to their rescue.

As she went along and her distrust of the people around her was very relatable. Her Pa is taken into custody..which again she feels guilty for, but an opportunity to help is given. So instead of listening to her Pa and trying to lay low and stay unseen, she joins forces with Dalca, the prince who leads the elite group of warriors who protects their city from the Storm. Even our bad guys were morally grey, with stories of their own. I wasn't sure if I wanted to like them or not...and some of them I did. It was a really emotional ride.

If you're looking for a unique read that will likely make you cry be sure to grab this one.

You can purchase The Darkening by Sunya Mara on Amazon or on Bookshop.

Disclaimer: This review was done on my own accord. I recieved this book from my local library on loan. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

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Tuesday, September 13, 2022

The Last Kamaali by Lori Holmes



Courage. Truth. Sacrifice.

Nyriaana and Juaan are no longer protected by the might of the Hunting Bear Clan. Alone and on the run, they need to choose their allies and enemies wisely if they are to evade the vengeful clutches of their former chief, Eldrax. But with nowhere to hide, can they truly run forever?

Tormented by visions of the fabled Last Kamaali, Nyriaana must now decide if she is ready to sacrifice everything in order to fulfil her ultimate destiny. In doing so, she may not only lose those she loves most, but unwittingly awaken ancient powers that will jeopardise the very existence of humanity.

In this final chapter of the Ancestors Saga, all races of men must decide once and for all what it truly means to be human.

My rating: 


Wow...this book ya'll.  My only regret is starting with this book and not starting from the beginning, which I plan on correcting. First...this is a fantasy romance, but an absolutely unique world. It's primitive, with a side of magic, meddling gods, greedy clan leaders, witches, tribes...etc. Gorgeous storytelling, creating a beautiful picture of a harsh world. Get ready to fall in love with these characters.

We follow the story of Juaan and Nyriaana as they try to escape the leader of the Hunting Bear Clan,  Eldrax. Eldrax is a ruthless leader with high ambition to live the life of his choosing, and not to have to bow to gods or anyone else. Eldrax in the past has lifted his clan and protected them from other clans, but by killing a watcher has not only put his own clan in danger, but all of the clans.  

This book had me from the start, moving quickly while explaining some of the things I missed from the earlier books. It was an easy book to pick up and devour...but have your box of tissues nearby. I won't spoil it by telling you was an emotional read.

You can purchase the Last Kamaali on Amazon.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced e-copy of this book free for review.  This however does not affect my opinions, as I do not leave a review for each book I receive. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Fractured Legacy by Cristen J. Faulkenberry

Stop!! This is the second book of her Lenoir Legacy series...if you haven't read book 1 yet, I strongly suggest starting there.  You can read my review for book one here.


All Rosealyn LeNoir wants is to take her rightful place as Queen of Orda’an. Instead, she’s magically connected to her father’s murderer, the ancient and once Lost Prince, Xannan LeNoir. When she learns her country has been attacked, Rosealyn must set aside her disdain for Xannan and discover the best way to help her people.

Charles, as king of Jearnia, wishes to repair the rift between himself and his brother while also mending the decades-long rivalry between the country of his birth and the country which protected him.

Memories surface and tensions escalate as all learn how far they will go to protect what they value most.

My rating:


Like the first book, this book was slow to get going. This particular time I really had to set reading goals to get through the initial story building section. If there is one thing that keeps this book from getting five stars it's the slow dry start. It is worth persevering though, and this book gets very exciting, but it's not until about chapter 12 or so.  So again, cozy up, get your tea, and dig in.

There's a broadening of many of the different storylines in the first book. The underlying romance between Charles and Rosealyn plays a bigger part in this book than it did in the second. They have lots to consider on whether both of them being ruling monarchs of their own countries makes it impossible for them to be together.  They end up working together to bring peace to the region, Charles coming to Rosealyn's aide when Orda'an is invaded by another country.  We get to know Xannan much more in this book, and we also get to know Rosealyn's mother.

We have political rifts, war, evil dragon like drokari, and an alliance between men, elves and dragons. This books very much reminds me a bit of Games of Thrones, not just in the shared genre, but the building of storylines and multiple storylines in one book that are connected. The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, so I'll be keeping an eye out for book three!

Spice level: 1 consensual kissing, no sex

Fractured Legacy released September 9, 2022 and can be purchased on Amazon or on Bookshop.

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Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book free for review.  This however does not affect my opinions, as I do not leave a review for each book I receive. There are links to Amazon and bookshop, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

Monday, September 5, 2022

Desires of the Immersed by Caelan J. Peters



Taylor was a rich, popular, yet completely normal teenage girl until the guy she’d fallen for shoved her off a hundred-foot waterfall. Instead of dying, she emerges into a completely different world where she’s immediately captured and thrown into a brutal training camp. Here she’s forced to face the realities of her forgotten past along with the still all too clear memories that are forming her present. Lucca finally returned his lost fiancé to their own world only to find a war threatening to destroy his entire home country. And his mother seems to think he’s the only one who can stop it. He’d never planned on leading the ground force, and he’d never planned to allow the woman he loved to wander a war-torn world alone. But he might not have a choice.


I really enjoyed this book. By the time I was about half way through I couldn't set it down, and it became a life neglecting, sleep depriving, just one more chapter before I go to sleep type of book. That good. I truly didn't know who to root for in this book. Taylor was the main focus of the book, but who was the right person for her to trust? Was it Lucca? Cole? Dawn? Marcellous? The story slowly unravels, as we hop back in forth between the present and the past..almost Godfather 2 style. Sometimes the hop was a bit abrupt, as in I felt like I was pulled into another scene when I wanted to stay right where I was. It added to the suspense of the overall book though, and I think it was well done.

I don't know that I really liked Taylor at first, but I love when characters really come into their own. She is hardened by some pretty brutal training, but it's brutality has a purpose one that she learns to understand and eventually embraces.  The story ends with lots of questions still unanswered...not quite a cliff hanger, but I need answers. I can't wait to dig into book 2!!

Rating: 5 Stars!

Spice level: 1 -- no sex, just kissing.

Desires of the Immersed is available for purchase now.

If you're interested, Book 2: Orders of the Emboldened is also available for purchase. 

Book three is expected to release September, 2023

Disclaimer: I received an advanced e-copy of this book free for review.  This however does not affect my opinions, as I do not leave a review for each book I receive. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Blood and Potions by Maya Morrison



An assassin who lives for the hunt. A vampire that loves the chase. A job that went wrong, and a bite that changes everything.

It was supposed to be a simple job. Steal an artifact from a top-secret location, and gain intel about my sister’s killer. Instead, one false move lands me in the hands of the renowned vampire overlord, Quillian Kingsley.

Quillian is cold, callous, and notoriously ruthless with his enemies, especially those he believes wronged him. I was prepared for my death...until he tasted my blood.

After days of interrogation, we come to a mutual agreement, and I agree to his terms by swearing a Blood Oath. I stay in Esneoh to help hunt down his enemies and play the role of his doting wife. And in kind, he will help me find my sister’s killer.
The job should have been easy; however, with every new kill and pursuit, I find myself drawn to the dark, dangerous, and sinfully gorgeous overlord.

There is just one problem - all roads point to him as one of the main suspects. And in this game of power, secrets, and lust, neither of us might come out alive when the truth unveils itself. 


First of all...this book is steamy! 

The book jumps right in, introducing Meraki as the strong resilient assassin that she is.  The world is beautifully laid out with out the gross info dump.  Meraki is independent and a well trained assassin and thief, living in a world that I can't possibly imagine. She feels she owes her life to the Alokari, the organization she works for. They have trained her for this life, and she is one of their best.  Her sister early on failed the test, and she spends her life looking for clues to kill who ever killed her. 

When she first meets Quillian in a club the attraction is immediate. She doesn't know his name, so he's Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome. On a job to finally get the necklace that should hold clues to her sister's murder, she runs into Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome again...they were both there to take the necklace. She later learns he's a vampire, and he's immune to most of the tricks she knows.  He's able to subdue her, and he kidnaps her to learn about why she was there, what she knows and who she works for.  

Fast forward we end up with a fake relationship trope, and it's done very well.  The physical relationship felt easy, but the two of them slowly figure out if there is anything to their fake marriage beyond amazing sex...which there's a ton of.  If you enjoy the fake relationship type trope, with a bit of an emotional slow burn with a side of alphamale possessiveness, you will like this book. Be warned, this book ends on a HUGE plot twist and a bit of a cliffhanger.

Rating: 4 stars

Steam level: 9/10 ---- hot hot hot