Sunday, June 25, 2023

The Weaver and the Witch Queen by Genevieve Gornichec

"A woman need not be defined by her men. She can stand for herself and make her own way."


The lives of two women—one desperate only to save her missing sister, the other a witch destined to become queen of Norway—intertwine in this spellbinding, powerful novel of Viking Age history and myth from the acclaimed author of The Witch’s Heart.

Oddny and Gunnhild meet as children in tenth century Norway, and they could not be more different: Oddny hopes for a quiet life, while Gunnhild burns for power and longs to escape her cruel mother. But after a visiting wisewoman makes an ominous prophecy that involves Oddny, her sister Signy, and Gunnhild, the three girls take a blood oath to help one another always.

When Oddny’s farm is destroyed and Signy is kidnapped by Viking raiders, Oddny is set adrift from the life she imagined—but she's determined to save her sister no matter the cost, even as she finds herself irresistibly drawn to one of the raiders who participated in the attack. And in the far north, Gunnhild, who fled her home years ago to learn the ways of a witch, is surprised to find her destiny seems to be linked with that of the formidable King Eirik, heir apparent to the ruler of all Norway.

But the bonds—both enchanted and emotional—that hold the two women together are strong, and when they find their way back to each other, these bonds will be tested in ways they never could have foreseen in this deeply moving novel of magic, history, and sworn sisterhood.


I love a fairytale retelling so it's obvious I will also enjoy an Icelandic/Norse saga reimagining. I've never heard of the saga of Gunnhild, Mother of Kings before reading this book. I've skimmed a bit of it, and can't wait to dig in and learn more. Read this book first if you'd like to enjoy the story, because knowing the saga beforehand may give away a few things.

There's so much to unpack here but one of my biggest takeaways is  the emotional bond between these young women as they navigate challenging world of Vikings society.  Their commitment to each other is continuously challenged as they fight unknown adversaries and are pulled in their own directions in life.

The women portrayed had bold personalities. They were strong and capable of defending themselves, and they didn't rely on the men in their families or relationships. These women supported each other and found strength in their own abilities. The author also includes LGBTQ representation, and I am here for it. 

The pacing of the book in the beginning was a bit slow for me, and I found myself having a tough time feeling this book as it got going. There was a lot of setting the stage for the overall story. I found that it was worth the wait, so grab your tea, comfy blanket and dig in. 

Overall, anyone who loves fantasy, but also Norse/Iclandic Folklore will love this imaginative retelling.

The Weaver and the Witch Queen will be published July 25, 2023 and is available for pre-order on Amazon and Bookshop.

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!

Monday, May 29, 2023

Dance with a Fae Prince by Elise Kova

Ya'll, I'm so glad I decided May was my mood reading month. I chose most if not every book I read on my own, and not from a TBR.  It was my birthday gift to myself. I'm behind on my reviews so keep checking back to see what made it to my mood reading month of May. Dance with the Fae Prince is book two of the Married to Magic series. Each book in the series is a standalone. I read book one so long ago, way before I started this blog so I didn't write up a thorough review. So now you're getting my thoughts on book two. 


She knew her hand in marriage would be sold. She had no idea a fae prince was the buyer.

Katria swore she'd never fall in love. She's seen what "love" means through the cruelty of her family. So when she's married off to the mysterious Lord Fenwood for a handsome price, all Katria wants is a better life than the one she's leaving. Feelings are off the table.

But her new husband makes not falling in love difficult.

As their attraction begins to grow, so too do the oddities within her new life: strange rules, screams in the night, and attacks by fae that Katria never thought were real. When she witnesses a ritual not meant for human eyes, Katria finds herself spirited away to the land of Midscape.

Surviving the fae wilds as a human is hard enough. Katria must survive as a human who accidently pilfered the magic of ancient kings - magic a bloodthirsty king is ready to kill her for in order to keep his stolen throne - and her new husband is the rightful heir in hiding.

The power to save the fae is in her hands. But who will save her from a love she vowed never to feel?

A Dance with the Fae Prince is a complete, *stand-alone novel*, inspired by the tales of Psyche and Eros, as well as Cinderella, with a "happily ever after" ending. It's perfect for romantic fantasy readers who enjoyed of A Court of Silver Flames and An Enchantment of Ravens. A Dance with the Fae Prince features a slow-burn romance, swoon-worthy couple, and steaminess that ranges from simmering to sizzling.


Fantasy readers...put this on your list as your next comfort read. Inspired by Cinderella, and other fairy tales but with it's very own twist. Ya'll know I'm a huge fan of the fantasy romance genre, and Elise Kova's Dance with a Fae Prince hits all of my favorites.  A little slow burn romance, a little forbidden love even, the down trodden even slightly abuse underdog female lead, who stumbles into a life that she didn't mean to, and manages to grow into a fierce of her own. Yes, please.

The world-building in this book was lovely and creative. The setting was beautifully described, with lush descriptions that allowed me to picture everything in my mind's eye. I was immediately transported into the story which is what I love about fantasy so much.  Take me to this world please.

Katria was the underdog in this story from the start, with her Cinderella-esq start, her mother having passed away, her father remarried the "evil step-mother" and then weirdly disappears.  Katria then "helps" around the house, but then is forced into a marriage so her step mother and step sisters can continue living the lavish lifestyle they can't afford.

Her marriage is weird though, she's not aloud to look at her husband and she has no jobs or duties in her new home. She at first thinks of it as a vacation (I need this vacation please), but then she eventually gets bored.  Reasonable. 

This ends up being the sweetest of slow burns, with a hint of enemies to lovers. I thought the pacing was just right. The steam level is almost zero, with scenes fading to black. There is talk of sex, we know it happens, but the descriptions are minimal.

The twists are predictable, the slow burn is not a stressful one, and the story happily concludes at the end of the novel making it the easy comfort read that it is.  Fantasy readers, grab this book when a heavy book has you emotionally exhausted and you need a book to set you right again. 

Dance with a Fae Prince by Elise Kova was published August 19, 2021 and is available for purchase on Amazon and Bookshop.

Disclaimer: I purchased this book on my own for my own enjoyment and merriment.  This however does not affect my opinions. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

Monday, May 22, 2023

Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky


Can we talk banned books for a minute?  

Reading banned books for me is my very quiet way of "sticking it to the man." Its a way of joining the table of discussion about banned books. 

Perks of Being a Wallflower has been banned from many public school curriculum since it was published in 1999. Most recently you can read about it being banned from this Florida school district for "extreme sexual content descriptions, bestiality and a language alert, using a “shock effect to engage teenage minds” 

I'm not going to lie, I completely forgot about the very brief mention of any bestiality in the book it was so inconsequential.  I digress! 

To see it's entire banning history check out this link here from Marshall University.


Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.


I feel this book should absolutely be required reading for every young person or any adult who may have forgotten what it's like to be a young person.  Parents who are on the fence should co-read this so you can discuss any hot topics or subjects with your child as they read it. 

This story will benefit any reader because it will:

  • Expose the reader to gay positive themes.
  • Humanize our narrator as he navigates growing up in the 90's. 
  • Expose the reader to difficult situations, such as bullying, rape, abortion, drug use, sexual abuse, suicide, physical abuse and the emotional roller coaster these themes can bring to people experiencing them.
  • Discuss themes teenagers usually have to deal with, like first kisses, self-esteem, finding friends, and dealing with crushes.
  • Remind us that when we are going through difficult things we aren't alone.
  • Our past doesn't define us, and it's completely possible to thrive after a difficult period.

Charlie's letters in this story sometimes are absolutely heart breaking.  His letters are raw and dive into a very deep and private part of growing up in the 90's. We follow Charlie as he navigates that first year in high school, and all of the difficulties that comes with being a teenager. Charlie is encouraged by his teacher to "participate in life" and not just be a bystander or a "wallflower."

The post script is by far one of the most powerful parts of the book. Don't skip it. We learn after all he went through, Charlie is ok. He reflects back on his youth as a difficult time, but we also learn how his story has helped other young people feel less alone in their battles. 

Some of my favorite quotes from this book are when Charlie's English teacher tells him "We accept the love we think we deserve," and "Be a filter, not a sponge."

When we ban books like this we only stunt the growth of the young people this would benefit. We lose an opportunity to be kinder, more open, and loving as a community. This book isn't here to glorify these behaviors or circumstances...but to open our minds to the individuals who may be living lives we don't understand. We shouldn't shy away from the difficult conversations this book might encourage.

This is a coming of age story that should not be skipped. I think every young person (or even older people) should read this book to gain a deeper knowledge of themselves, and to grow as empathetic humans. We need more of those.

Perks of Being a Wallflower was published February 1, 1999 is available at most public libraries (if it hasn't been banned) and it's also available on  Amazon and Bookshop.

If you'd like to support this blog, please be sure to check out my Etsy Shop and my Read Banned Books Shirtsticker, and coffee mug.

Disclaimer: I borrowed this book from my library. There are links to Amazon, Bookshop and Etsy, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Medusa's Sisters by Lauren J.A. Bear

Ya'll this spring has been a whirlwind. May is the busiest month I think for me ever, and more so since my baby girl is graduating high school in just a few weeks. I'm a bit behind on reviews so hopefully I can start pushing them out quickly. There's a backlog of books I've read, that I hope to tell you about soon.

I was really excited when I was approved for this book, I love a good reimagining of old stories and myths and Medusa's Sisters did not disappoint.


A vivid and moving reimagining of the myth of Medusa and the sisters who loved her.

The end of the story is only the beginning…

Even before they were transformed into Gorgons, Medusa, Stheno, and Euryale were unique among their immortal family. Curious about mortals and their lives, Medusa and her sisters entered the human world in search of a place to belong, yet quickly found themselves at the perilous center of a dangerous Olympian rivalry and learned—too late—that a god's love is a violent one.

 Forgotten by history and diminished by poets, the other two Gorgons have never been more than horrifying hags, damned and doomed. But they were sisters first, and their journey from lowly sea-born origins to the outskirts of the pantheon is a journey that rests, hidden, underneath their scales.

 Monsters, but not monstrous, Stheno and Euryale will step into the light for the first time to tell the story of how all three sisters lived and were changed by each other, as they struggle against the inherent conflict between sisterhood and individuality, myth and truth, vengeance and peace.


Ya'll I really enjoyed this! What a creative way to bring this story to life. As someone who has always been fascinated by Greek mythology, I couldn't resist requesting this book from Berkley. If you enjoy Greek mythology too, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

If you love the story of Medusa, then you will love this retelling of Medusa's story.  Lauren J.A. Bear has taken the familiar tale of Medusa, and woven it into a captivating retelling that kept the pages turning for me. 

My husband is the one who knows the old stories better than I do, so as I went through this book I kept confirming back the original story with him.  Some parts really stuck to the core of the original myth, while there were some parts that strayed but in a way that I think brought more depth to the story. It worked well.

Overall the author brings to life the main characters of the myth, giving this story a fresh overhaul. I definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys Greek myths or not.

Medusa's Sisters by Lauren JA. Bear will be published on August 8, 2023 and is available now for pre-order on Amazon and Bookshop.

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!

Monday, May 1, 2023

Weyward by Emilia Hart

Happy May! Beltane blessings to those who celebrate. I'm feeling the pull of the seasons for sure, and as much as I love spooky season spring has me wrapped around it's finger right now. The world has become green, and lots of my time lately has been out in my garden and doing a deep house cleaning to shake off the last bits of winter.

Weyward was my last BOTM for now, I'm cleaning house with subscriptions too, canceling them all and see who I miss. My tbr bookstack is very high I'll see where I'm at once I work my way through all my books.


I am a Weyward, and wild inside.

2019: Under cover of darkness, Kate flees London for ramshackle Weyward Cottage, inherited from a great aunt she barely remembers. With its tumbling ivy and overgrown garden, the cottage is worlds away from the abusive partner who tormented Kate. But she begins to suspect that her great aunt had a secret. One that lurks in the bones of the cottage, hidden ever since the witch-hunts of the 17th century.

1619: Altha is awaiting trial for the murder of a local farmer who was stampeded to death by his herd. As a girl, Altha’s mother taught her their magic, a kind not rooted in spell casting but in a deep knowledge of the natural world. But unusual women have always been deemed dangerous, and as the evidence for witchcraft is set out against Altha, she knows it will take all of her powers to maintain her freedom.

1942: As World War II rages, Violet is trapped in her family's grand, crumbling estate. Straitjacketed by societal convention, she longs for the robust education her brother receives––and for her mother, long deceased, who was rumored to have gone mad before her death. The only traces Violet has of her are a locket bearing the initial W and the word weyward scratched into the baseboard of her bedroom.

Weaving together the stories of three extraordinary women across five centuries, Emilia Hart's 
Weyward is an enthralling novel of female resilience and the transformative power of the natural world.


This book has a witchy cottage-core vibe with multigenerational feminism and strong indepened women that scare men, and I am absolutely here for it. The first thing I did when I finished this book was handing it right to my seventeen year old daughter to read.

The way this story is weaved together really blew me away. It was so creatively laid out, with some twists that actually surprised me. The character development for each of our leads was so deep and relatable. If you're looking for a cozy read with a satisfying feminist overtone, you'll absolutely love Weyward. 

Weyward was released March 7, 2023 is available on Amazon and Bookshop and if you're lucky..maybe still Book of the Month.

Disclaimer: I purchased this book on my own for my own enjoyment and merriment.  This however does not affect my opinions. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!


Monday, April 24, 2023

What Lies Beyond the Veil by Harper Woods

I finally had a chance to dig into a book that was on my own to read list. This book came in a bookish box a while back, and first of's so beautiful. I had heard such good things about this book. I couldn't wait to dig in, but felt I really needed to get through my long list of arcs first. 


Once, we’d worshipped them as Gods.

For nearly 400 years, the Veil has protected us from the Fae of Alfheimr. In their absence, our lives have shifted from decadence and sin to survival and virtue under the guidance of the New Gods. I’ve spent my entire life tending to the gardens next to the boundary between our worlds, drawn to the shimmering magic like a moth to the flame.

Then, we died on their swords.

All of that changes the day the Veil shatters, unleashing the fae upon our world once again. The magic of faerie marks those of us they mean to take, but the Mist Guard protecting Nothrek will kill us all before they let the fae have us. There’s no choice but to flee everything I’ve ever known, not if I want to live to see my twenty-first birthday as a free woman.

Now, they’ll claim what’s theirs.

But before they capture me, Caelum saves me from the Wild Hunt. Fae-marked and on the run, he is able to fight back in ways I only dream of. From tentative alliance to all-consuming passion, our bond strengthens as the fae close in and evil lurks ever nearer. With my life on the line, he is everything I shouldn’t dare to want and a distraction I can’t afford. I can’t seem to stay away, not even with something greater on the line.

My heart.

Author’s Note: This book is intended for readers who are 18 and older. It contains mature language, graphic violence, and explicit content with darker elements. This is book one in a series and ends in a cliffhanger.


I absolutely love a good fantasy read, and this one hit all my favorite points. There was a new world to learn about, and the author did a great job at slowly laying out what this world was like. There was a gradual setting of the stage, but it's worth the build.  Grab your tea and dig in.

Estrella's life in the beginning is rough. Her society is built around a religious cult with purity undertones, and she has caught the eye of the town's ruler, Lord Byron. He's a bit on the creepy side, but has financially supported her family since the town's cultish religion sacrificed her father when she was a child.

When she meets Caelum, I'm thrown off a bit on their interactions. I'm not sure how I feel about this couple, and I'm wondering if the author wants it this way. He calls her "little one" which I thought was a bit weird, but I absolutely swoon when he calls her "my star". He is definitely a morally grey character making it clear he doesn't care about anything else but her.

Once we get passed the slow burn side of it, I'm honestly a bit shocked how this book turned into smut. I wasn't ready! Honestly, I don't mind smut, but I don't feel the level it got to matched the "purity" mindset Estrella had gotten herself out of, she went from shy to heavy kink super fast.

So while this book felt lopsided a bit with Estrella and Caelum's relationship, I still really enjoyed it and will be looking forward to reading the next book in the series.


Religious purity culture, verbal and physical abuse, sexual grooming from an authority figure, ritualistic sacrifice, suicide, suicidal ideation, graphic violence, graphic sex

What Lies Beyond the Veil was published February 22, 2022 and is available at Amazon and Bookshop.

Disclaimer: I purchased this book on my own for my own enjoyment and merriment.  This however does not affect my opinions. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

A Manual for How to Love Us by Erin Slaughter


Do you ever read short stories? How do they fit in with your reading style?

I love keeping a few on hand honestly. To me they are great for a reading slump, or a good cure for a book hangover.

A Manual of How to Love us is a quirky collection of short stories, some of them reading more like poetry than a short story, which comes to no surprise as the author has published two books of poetry.


A debut, interlinked collection of stories exploring the primal nature of women’s grief—offering insight into the profound experience of loss and the absurd ways in which we seek control in an unruly world.

Seamlessly shifting between the speculative and the blindingly real, balancing the bizarre with the subtle brutality of the mundane, A Manual for How to Love Us is a tender portrait of women trying their best to survive, love, and find genuine meaning in the aftermath of loss.

In these unconventional and unpredictably connected stories, Erin Slaughter shatters the stereotype of the soft-spoken, sorrowful woman in distress, queering the domestic and honoring the feral in all of us. In each story, grieving women embrace their wildest impulses as they attempt to master their lives: one woman becomes a “gazer” at a fraternity house, another slowly moves into her otherworldly stained-glass art, a couple speaks only in their basement’s black box, and a thruple must decide what to do when one partner disappears.

The women in Erin Slaughter’s stories suffer messy breaks, whisper secrets to the ghosts tangled in the knots of their hair, eat raw meat to commune with their inner wolves, and build deadly MLM schemes along the Gulf Coast.

Set across oft-overlooked towns in the American South, A Manual for How to Love Us spotlights women who are living on the brink and clinging to its precipitous edge. Lyrical and surprisingly humorous, A Manual for How to Love Us is an exciting debut that reveals the sticky complications of living in a body, in all its grotesquerie and glory.


I've read two of the stories so far, so you may see me talking more about this book as I get it out from time to time. I read the first story named "Anywhere" which is a story of two young women who escape the life they knew to start somewhere else on the other side of the country. It was a quick but raw story of trust with a side of abandonment fears. 

The next I read was section two, called A Manual of How to Love Us, the book's namesake. I had to absolutely read this one. This read more like a poem to me, the abstract thoughts of putting life to words, such as thorns, tongue, stranger, etc. It was a refreshing change of pace for me, I almost never read poetry and I really enjoyed this.

A Manual for How to Love Us was published March 14, 2023 and is available at  Amazon and Bookshop.

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!

Monday, April 3, 2023

Maiden of Snakes by Jane McGarry



When Marchioness Lamberico fails to conceive a child, she solicits the help of Imelda, the village witch. Nine months later, she gives birth to a baby girl. Biancabella. Though perfect in every other way, the infant is born with a snake wrapped around her neck. To the relief of the marchioness, the creature vanishes at once and, in the joy of motherhood, is soon forgotten. When Biancabella is a young girl, the snake reappears and explains their uncommon sisterhood.

 Samaritana helps Biancabella unlock her magical gifts and asserts that so long as they are together, all will be well. Their close, though secret, relationship unites them above all others. Years pass, the sisters contented, until the day King Ferrandino of Naples arrives, seeking Biancabella’s hand in marriage. What follows shatters the sisters’ bond, leading to misfortune and betrayal, which forces them to grapple with not only the loss of their connection, but leaves each fighting for her life. 

Loosely based on the Italian fairy tale Biancabella and the Snake, the story explores how the love can transform from a domineering and covetous power to authenticity and, ultimately, redemption.


When I first saw this book, I thought I was looking at a medusa retelling with the snakes.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  Instead this was a retelling of an Italian fairytale, Biancabella and then Snake. 

Cottage-core friends...this is a lovely little cozy book I think that may have been written just for you.  There is a "fairy-tale" style of grammar and writing in this book that will make you think you're reading a story much older than it is. 

The story is cleanly written, suitable for any audience of any age. There is only one bad word in the entire book, and some violence. If you're looking for a sweet cozy, low stress read be sure to grab this book.

Maiden of Snakes is available on Amazon and is on KU!

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!

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

White as Witching by Katherine Buel

I picked up White as Witching by Katherine Buel on Netgalley, I still browse now and then looking for books that might grab my attention. I didn't realize when I grabbed it that it was a fairytale retelling, and it definitely snagged all the main points of Snow White's Story.


The Selection is a lie. The five girls chosen each year do not vanish into a life of royal luxury, as most believe. Snow knows this because she knows her aunt Lyric—the Witch-Queen of Cresilea—murderess and usurper.

When the Selection comes to the remote village where Snow has hidden since her father’s murder, she puts herself forward, trusting in her scarred face to hide her identity, and enters the castle she fled seven years ago—a place now haunted by unnatural whispers and eerie shadows.

But more is at stake than Snow’s revenge, or even the fates of five girls, and she must learn all she can about Lyric’s magic—and her own—before it’s too late.

Rich and darkly enchanting, White as Witching takes you into a perilous world of fairy tale where you must break the first rule:

Do not go into the woods at night.
Do not follow the faerie lights.
Do not dance and do not sing—set no foot in the faerie ring.


As in most fairytale retellings this book contained the structure of Snow White. We had Snow, the hunter, the evil queen and the dwarves. We also had the bonus of Rose Red who is left out of many Snow White retellings. There were some original twists to this retelling, like fairies, and fae..and fae kings.

The world building was gradual, the characters dynamic and I enjoyed watching them grow as they faced the queen. Be ready for the love conquers all is a fairytale after all. Generally I have to be in the mood for that kind of thing, which kept my goodreads rating from a five to a four.

This book is geared towards a YA audience, with sex being only implied. Triggers being parental death, death, gore and cannibalism.

White as Witching was published October 22, 2022, and is available on Amazon.

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!

Sunday, March 19, 2023

The Voyages of Trueblood Cay by Suanne Laqueur

Months ago Suanne Laqueur sent me her book for review, and you was worth the wait on my shelves. If you love a deep romance story, in a romantasy setting with LGBTQ representation read on.


Pelippé Trueblood is on the voyage of a lifetime and hosting a temperamental, half-man half-horse onboard his ship. He just might end up killing his difficult guest. Or kissing him.

Trueblood is descended from giants and poised to be one of the world's great mariners. Raised by his father on the mighty ship Cay, he's chosen at nineteen for a perilous voyage predicted in ancient prophecy: find the lost Tree of Life and anchor her branches back to the sky. Young and unseasoned, Trueblood fears the gods may have picked the wrong man for the job. Worse, scripture demands he be accompanied by the beautiful, brooding Fen il-Kheir. Nothing in Trueblood's life at sea has prepared him for this dangerous new crew member, nor the feelings he plants in Trueblood's heart.

Fen is a kheiron--a creature with the ability to shift between man and horse. With his dark past, his distrust of humans and his contempt for prophecy, Fen proves a reluctant passenger who could jeopardize not only the voyage, but the very future of the world. As the journey progresses, Fen finds himself more and more drawn to the Cay's charismatic commander, bringing the kheiron closer to everything his human nature longs for, and everything the beast in him fears.


I knew from the second I read the prologue I was in for a treat you guys. This style of writing is the kind that makes you forget your sitting there holding a book, and instead there's a vivid picture of what is going on instead...and it's immediate. There were numerous times while reading this that I had to bring myself back to reality.

The world building was gradual and gentle. You'd think even with a prologue there would be some info-dumping, and there was not. Some of this story is told in journal entries, and some of these chapters are my favorite parts of this book. We begin the story when Pelippe Trueblood is a child, so the journal entries are adorably labeled "From the the Most Private Journal of Pelippe Trueblood" and usually it just documents stories of who he knows and how much he loves them.

Fen's character is just as in-depth, we simultaneously follow the growth of both to an extent. They are very different individuals and slowly watching them let their own guards down was one of the sweetest slow burns that I've read in a long time.

Also...for what it's worth. When I finished this book, I started it all over again. I couldn't enough... If you love a good love story, you're into romantasy, and love LGBTQ representation you will absolutely love this book.

The Voyages of Trueblood Cay was published January 24, 2019 is available on Amazon.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Where the Skies Fall by Casey Bond

This is book two in the Where Oceans Burn Duology, if you'd like to read my review for book one, check it out here.


With these three tenets, we will live. With these three, we will fight.
Bravery. Breath. Brine.

Neera, Goddess of the Sky, claims the war will end in the place where oceans burn. God of the Sea, Talay, believes it to be in the place where skies fall. Yet battles unlike any our people have fought before still wait to be waged. Like it or not, Crest and I find ourselves caught in the middle.

He is The Shark, leader of the Guardians of the ocean. Sworn to protect everything in the salty sea below, his people stake claim to the Isle of Kehlani. As The Scourge of the Sky, I was once his mortal enemy. But he and his people took me in and showed me I’m worth more than the power surging through my veins. For the first time, I feel the sky might not be where I belong.

The great goddess Neera’s scale has tipped out of my favor. Now, losing the feathers in my wings is the least of my worries. It will take every ounce of my cunning and skills to rip myself from the grip of a cruel goddess who would see me cowed and caged. Talay has claimed me for his own, and for that, I am grateful. When the sky descends, thirsty for blood, I will fight. For those I love. For the life I crave. And for him… For him, I will sink the kingdom of the sky. I will drag Empyrean into the depths and delight in watching it drown.


Like the first book, I felt anxious while reading least until progress was made in our slowest of slow burn romances. I love Elira and Crest, and while I found myself less emotional in this book than I was in the first book I will still just as pulled in. 

The story is a fast paced continuation of book one, with Crest and Elira trying to figure out what their relationship will be, along with dealing with the goddess Neera. I'm not usually a fan of enemies to lovers stories, but this one is done just right. Neither one ever bullies the other, and they go from being enemies to seeing each other's worth.  This final book in this duology was done so very well. 

If you're on the fence with enemies to lovers, but love fantasy romances, with some amazing found family vibes give this one a shot. 

Where the Skies Fall was released January 13, 2023, and is available on Amazon.

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!