Reviews

Review: Smoke in the Sun by Renée Ahdieh

Book Review

Smoke in the Sun
Smoke in the Sun
by Renée Ahdieh
(Flame in the Mist #2)
Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
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Synopsis
For weeks, seventeen-year-old Mariko pretended to be a boy to infiltrate the notorious Black Clan and bring her would-be murderer to justice. She didn’t expect to find a place for herself among the group of fighters—a life of usefulness—and she certainly didn’t expect to fall in love. Now she heads to the imperial castle to resume a life she never wanted to save the boy she loves.

Ōkami has been captured, and his execution is a certainty. Mariko will do what she must to ensure his survival—even marry the sovereign’s brother, saying goodbye to a life with Ōkami forever.

As Mariko settles into her days at court—making both friends and enemies—and attempting Ōkami’s rescue at night, the secrets of the royal court begin to unravel as competing agendas collide. One arrow sets into motion a series of deadly events even the most powerful magic cannot contain. Mariko and Ōkami risk everything to right past wrongs and restore the honor of a kingdom thrown into chaos by a sudden war, hoping against hope that when the dust settles, they will find a way to be together.

Set against the backdrop of feudal Japan, Smoke in the Sun is the breathless, romantic, not-to-be-missed fiery conclusion to a spell-binding adventure.

What I thought

With this being the second part of the Flame in the Mist duology. I am going to keep this super short so I don’t spoil the story if you have not read it yet.

Mariko is no longer having to pose as a boy but she has to don an even bigger facade in this installment.  When she reaches the capital she is thrown into court politics and she is expected to carry on with the arranged marriage. Mariko has to balance her heart and her duty.

Mariko shows how clever she is as she tries different ways to try to free Ōkami.  I loved it when we got to see private moments between Markio and Ōkami., the way he spoke to her just melted my heart.  

Renée Ahdieh’s writing is just beautiful and I loved how I felt like I was being transported to feudal Japan.

My Rating: /55 Stars

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Reviews

Review: The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Book Review

The Priory of the Orange Tree
The Priory of the Orange Tree
by Samantha Shannon
Fantasy
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Synopsis
A world divided. A queendom without an heir. An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction – but assassins are getting closer to her door. Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tane has trained to be a dragonrider since she was a child, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel. Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

What I thought
I didn’t know what to expect when I picked up this book. I knew that per the author it was supposed to be a standalone but there were a lot of people that were complaining that there was no way it was. After reading this book I can 100% say it is a standalone. This story came to an end. That is not saying that she can not write another story that is down the road in this world when the characters come together again. This is a case of just because you want more does not mean that there will be more.

I enjoyed this book more than I really thought I would. The story flowed and did not drag on. There were just enough POVs to keep you engaged without being bored.

The love story was wonderful and was built into the story and I did not see it as the main focus. Which for me was a nice change.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an easy fantasy to read. Yes, it is large but it was a fun read.

My Rating: /54 Stars

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New Releases

Book Blitz: That Night by Azaaa Davis @AzaaaDavis @RRBookTours1 #ThatNight #NewAdult #UrbanFantasy #Fantasy #RRBookTours

ThatNight copy

Great news Demon Hunter fans! Azaaa Davis is getting ready to release the third installment in her Nadira Holden, Demon Hunter series! If you haven’t read book #2 That Night yet, you still have time! Read on for details and a chance to win a fabulous giveaway!

That-Night-Kindle


That Night
by Azaaa Davis
Publication Date: April 23, 2019
Genre: New Adult Fantasy/ Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal

All Nadira Holden wants is to preserve the last of her soul and create a new life free of magic, demons, and war.

Her involuntary bond with a succubus makes her desires impossible. The threat of this disgruntled demon possessing her urges Nadira to find the succubus’s missing body.

Nadira’s only hope of avoiding demonic possession lies with Derek, the only demon she can tolerate without slaying. Except, his hands are full trying to secure his recently-inherited title of prince. Desperate, Nadira agrees to help Derek secure his title by experimenting with the deadly magic they once generated in exchange for his aid in her investigation.

To untangle herself from the evil that surrounds her, Nadira must be willing to betray her friends and get cozy with her enemies. She may even have to do the unthinkable: break the peace treaty that allows demons and humans to coexist. If she can’t toss aside her scruples, Nadira may not make it out of this ordeal with her soul intact.

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Excerpt

This Night (Book #1)

Chapter One

NADIRA WOKE UP ENCOMPASSED IN EMPTINESS. It was as if she were in a void with no light or sound to give her a clue about her location. The air was musty, and her throat was scratchy. Nadira coughed.

“Hello?” she croaked, triggering more dry coughing. She cleared her throat and tried again. “Hey! Can anyone hear me?”

Nadira felt a solid surface along her back and behind her head and legs. She understood she was lying somewhere. Nadira tried to touch her surroundings and could barely move her arms before they hit the cushioned ceiling mere inches above her. As she continued to move, her elbows hit the cushioned sides, and her knees hit the ceiling. Feeling surrounded, Nadira realized she was in an enclosed space. Taking a deep breath, she tasted stale air. Some kind of crawlspace or trunk was her best guess.

After a long night of sleep, Nadira expected to feel ready to tackle another day. Summer was the peak of training season, and Nadira was looking forward to a few weeks of scrimmages that would allow her hunters to show off and make her look good as team leader. Instead of feeling refreshed, her body was sore, her head ached, and her stomach was empty. She felt a weakness and discomfort that only happened when she mistakenly slept for far too long. But, what am I doing here?

She tried to keep her breathing even and decided to feel around with her hands for a doorknob or latch. Behind the cushion that surrounded her on all sides, she felt a more solid barrier, like wood. Was someone playing a cruel trick on her? Nadira’s racing mind landed on Melissa—the girl that hated her success in class and on the training mat. Nadira usually ignored her, and all the other annoying cohorts. But, that didn’t stop them from whispering about her and occasionally playing pranks.

“Let me out!” she screamed with all her might. The sound was hoarse, almost a growl. Nadira hit the wooden ceiling as hard as she could. No response. No one ran away in fear or came closer to open this padded, wooden cage. Her breathing was no longer controlled. She practically hissed, her breathing was so rapid and shallow. Breathe deep, Nadira commanded.

This couldn’t be Melissa’s doing. It wasn’t her style. Besides, Melissa was preoccupied lately with Devon, her new boyfriend. One of Melissa’s flaws was that she couldn’t multitask, especial when a guy was involved. After ruling Melissa out, Nadira asked herself if this was a training exercise. Countless times, Nadira and her team experienced grueling trails designed to test a hunter’s lethal effectiveness against monsters. But, she was far beyond her student days of trick interrogations and unexplained battle simulations. At the very least, there would have been some whisper about her team getting tested. Nadira concluded that this couldn’t be a training exercise either.

Her shallow breathing was the only sound she could hear. It caused the air to become hot. Her heart raced again as she considered the awful possibility that an enemy captured her overnight. Although she should, she didn’t remember going to bed last night. Actually, she didn’t remember anything . . . Nadira’s hands started to shake. Cold sweat made the fabric of her nightgown stick. She felt like a disgusting mess. She was never a mess. She was strong and focused. She was a warrior.

Think, Nadira commanded herself. Someone has you trapped in a cold, dark place. For a second, she considered staying put and waiting for a rescue. That second passed quickly. Nadira preferred to rescue herself. She also considered preparing for the next time her enemy came to check in on her. Once, she escaped from a car trunk by fighting her way out when the vehicle stopped. The trick was to listen for your moment, and time it just right. Yet, somehow, she didn’t think she had enough air to wait around for anything other than death.

She was not afraid to die, no demon hunter was, but she wasn’t ready either. It was simply not her time. With that thought, Nadira ripped and tore at the ceiling of her confinement. Self-discipline and skill helped, but her genetic makeup—unique to Children of Orion—gave her the brute strength needed to destroy her cell. Silky cushy fabric gave way to wood. Wood chips, chunks, and splinters finally gave way to solid dirt.

She was panting, already exhausted. She wasn’t sure how many minutes went by, but the solid dirt indicated that she still had a long way to go. She couldn’t see her hands in front of her, but she could feel the cuts and bruises she was inflicting on herself in her effort to escape. Nadira’s hands were bloody and cramping from the repeated motion. She kept digging. Ignoring pain and discomfort was something that all demon hunters were taught. I can do this.

She took a moment to pull her nightgown over her face as a makeshift mask. With her eyes closed, she kept at it. As the hole got bigger, more dirt slid into the box she was in. The weight of the loose soil on her face, chest and upper body was suffocating in its heaviness. She was at the point of no return now that the last of her air was escaping. Yet, Nadira didn’t give in to panic. Focused, she kept digging and pulling herself upward while breathing as best she could with her face covered.

Nadira lost track of time—not that she knew what time it was when she woke up in this nightmare. Her mind was buzzing with a single thought. Survive. Nadira chanted to herself in an endless loop. She got sloppy with her arm movements, with her pulling and wiggling. However long she’d been clawing her way to freedom was too long. She paused, taking a few more shallow breaths through the cloth that was acting as a mask. She wanted to stop, to regain her strength, but she ignored her fatigue. Reaching up yet again, she pulled more dirt down. This time she felt nothing around her fingertips. Finally, there was space!

With renewed determination, Nadira pried and hoisted herself up, kicking her legs as if she was swimming through the soil. Her hands first, then forearms. Next, her head, and lastly her shoulders escaped imprisonment. Immediately, she ripped her nightgown away from her face and took deep breaths of the fresh, crisp air. With a bit of tugging and wiggling, Nadira’s waist, then her hips, her legs, and lastly her feet became unburied. She collapsed next to the hole she crawled out of and looked at the night sky. In the cool wind, fallen leaves rustled gently all around Nadira. She was panting and filthy, covered in dirt from head to toe. But, she was free.

Only when her breathing was back to normal did she move. Sitting up, she was reintroduced to her headache. It forced her to move at an even slower pace. She noticed her hands first. They were a bloody mess. Great. She won’t be holding a weapon anytime soon. The second thing she noticed was the long, soft pink dress she was wearing. It was far from the sports bras and shorts she normally wore to bed. She was filthy, homeless looking, but all in one piece and healthy enough. No time to wonder who changed her clothes, or who bothered to style her dreadlocks—formed by constantly twisting her naturally curly hair until the thick twists became permanent—with white ribbons.

Looking around, she saw that she was in a cemetery. Her sigh of relief was shushed by the wind carrying the sound away. Nadira felt safe for now, knowing she was free and unguarded. Of all the awful ways to kill an enemy, why this horrible yet passive method? To bury someone alive was a sadistic, cowardly and lacking in honor. Only one answer came to mind.

“Demons,” she growled.

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Author Bio

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Azaaa Davis is an American author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels.

She fell in love with reading as a high school freshman and continues to read, write, and draw today. Her background in social work helps her portray realistic characters in otherworldly–and sometimes terrifying–situations. A New York native, Azaaa currently lives in New Hampshire (USA) with her husband and daughters.

She debuted with This Time, A Nadira Holden Novel, in 2018 about demon hunters, family ties and the magic of love. Azaaa is working diligently to finish writing more fantasy novels while raising her daughters. Thank you for showing an interest in her stories!

Azaaa Davis | Goodreads | Facebook
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This-Time-Kindle


This Time (Nadira Holden, Demon Hunter #1)

Resurrected into present-day New York, Nadira Holden is asked to save the world … again.

Nadira achieved legendary status when she gave her life to protect humans from the demons. To her, it was yesterday. To the rest of the world, it was twenty years ago.

People have made peace with the demons, worshipping them like celebrities. No one wants to believe that the beautiful creatures who brought magic to humans could be causing the disappearance of so many. When Nadira’s father goes missing, she refuses to play nice. Gloves off. She has to do what she does best. Fight.

Experience why not even death can stop her.

Nadira Holden, Demon Hunter is a fresh urban fantasy series from Azaaa Davis that combines monster-slaying action, family drama, and simmering romance.

Fans of Vampire Hunter Anita Blake, Succubus Georgina Kincaid, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and Vampire Death Dealer Selene are enthralled and eagerly awaiting the next Nadira Holden novel.

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Review copies of both books are available through R&R Book Tours in exchange for honest reviews!

Giveaway: For your chance to win a Fantasy bundle by all-female indie authors of color, click the Rafflecopter link below!

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March 23rd
Where Dragons Reside – https://kernerangelina.live/
B is for Book Review – https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com
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Momfluenster – https://www.instagram.com/momfluenster/
Lunarian Press – https://www.lunarianpress.com/
Tales of a Natural Spoonie – https://talesofanaturalspoonie.com/

March 24th
Entertainingly Nerdy – https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com
I Love Books and Stuff – https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com
Banshee Irish Horror Blog – www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com
The Faerie Review – http://www.thefaeriereview.com

March 25th
Book Dragons Not Worms – https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1
Rambling Mads – http://ramblingmads.com
Phantom of the Library – https://phantomofthelibrary.com/

March 26th
Breakeven Books – https://breakevenbooks.com
My Bookish Bliss – http://www.mybookishbliss.com
Viviana MacKade – https://viviana-mackade.blog/
Reads & Reels – http://readsandreels.com

March 27th
Didi Oviatt – https://didioviatt.wordpress.com
Sophril Reads – https://sophrilreads.wordpress.com
The Magic of Wor(l)ds – http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

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Reviews

Review: Oath of Deception by Jennifer Anne Davis

Book Review

Oath of Deception
Oath of Deception
 by Jennifer Anne Davis
(Reign of Secrets #4)
Young Adult, Fantasy
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Synopsis
For Savenek, there is no greater honor than protecting Emperion. While other young men his age study a trade, he attends a secret, elite military academy where he has been honed into a lethal asset for his kingdom. He can gather information without detection and kill from the shadows. Savenek’s own father is the schoolmaster, and he forces Savenek to train harder than any other student. As graduation draws near, Savenek eagerly awaits the vows inducting him into the Brotherhood of the Crown.

When a messenger arrives with news of war brewing on the horizon, the Brotherhood is called into action. Eager to prove himself, Savenek goes on his first mission alone. He doesn’t expect to uncover a treacherous plot to destroy Emperion. He doesn’t expect to join forces with someone outside the Brotherhood, let alone a woman. He certainly doesn’t expect to fail.

But then again, his father taught him nothing ever goes as planned.

Political intrigue clashes with romance in this thrilling story that continues the Reign of Secrets saga.

What I thought
I was very hesitant going into this book. I really liked how book 3 ended and a big part of me wanted to leave the story there.  I continued on because this author has not steered me wrong yet.

So this is Savenek’s story during the same time as the first three books.  Which brings me to believe that the final book is going to feature both siblings.  I have to say that I enjoyed this book very much you get to see how the twins are similar even though they were raised apart.  I learned things that either I missed in the first three books or I was just being told them.  I am pretty sure that these things were not in the first 3 however I can not be 100% certain that they were not mentioned in passing.

I foresee a potential love story for the final book and I am really hoping that it comes to be and both siblings can live happily ever after. They have both lived through so much I feel that they deserve it.

If you have read the first 3 books and are hesitant like I was I implore you to continue on. It is very much worth it.

My Rating: /55 Stars

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Reviews

Review: A Case of Possession by K.J. Charles

Book Review

A Case of Possession
A Case of Possession
by K.J. Charles
(A Charm of Magpies #2)
Historical Fantasy, Romance
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Synopsis
Magic in the blood. Danger in the streets.

Lord Crane has never had a lover quite as elusive as Stephen Day. He knows Stephen’s job as justiciar requires secrecy, but the magician is doing his disappearing act more than seems reasonable—especially since Crane will soon return to his home in China. When a blackmailer threatens to expose their illicit relationship, there’s only one thing stopping Crane from leaving the country he loathes: Stephen.

Stephen has problems of his own. As he investigates a plague of giant rats sweeping London, his sudden increase in power, boosted by his blood-and-sex bond with Crane, is rousing suspicion that he’s turned warlock. With all eyes on him, the threat of exposure grows. Stephen could lose his friends, his job and his liberty over his relationship with Crane. He’s not sure if he can take that risk much longer. Crane isn’t sure if he can ask him to.

The rats are closing in, and something has to give…

What I thought
I said that I was going to let my library decide if I was going to read this book,  It all depended if they were going to get a copy.

After reading the first book in this series I went into this one with low expectations.  I think I just expected way too much from the first book and I really didn’t like Lord Crane very much.  And being a character-driven person that really matters to me.  So going into this one knowing that I was not going to like him, I enjoyed this book so much more.

I liked how you got to see more of Stephen’s job and how his team works together.  I really liked how you can see how much his partner really cares about him.  I also liked how Crane evolved and wasn’t as big of a selfish arse as he was previously.  Don’t get me wrong he was still an arse just not as bad.

In the end, I am glad that I gave this book a chance.

My Rating: /54 Stars

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Reviews

Review: Shadow of the Skytree by K.J. Taylor

Book Review

Shadow of the Skytree
Shadow of the Skytree
 by K.J. Taylor
Fantasy
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Synopsis
The reserved elf Lyell Blackfletch is an ambassador for his people – and the holder of a dark secret. Plague is spreading among the human race, with the fire-loving dwarves already driven to the edge of extinction. Only the human Fiorella is close to finding a cure for the sickness, and with her death it is up to her friend Lavender the gnome to deliver it to her people in the steam-powered city of Vaporcitta.

Naïve but rebellious, Lavender chooses to place her trust in Lyell – but is her confidence in the cold-hearted elf misplaced? With the cure stolen and a secret genocide uncovered, they must both make a choice – but it may already be too late.

What I thought
This book was received from the Author/Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I was super excited when Odyssey Books reached out to me about this book.  Who doesn’t love a good fantasy novel?  Oh, and it’s a standalone, at least as far as I can tell.  In this story, you have 5 races and they are all in danger of becoming extinct.

This is a really good book if you are just getting into fantasy.  Even though this is a story dealing with five races it was a very easy read.  It is very impressive what the author does in only 244 pages.  I understood the world and could follow what was going on even with them moving about so much.  With that being said this story is very surface level so if you are expecting this to be a deep fantasy novel then you will not get what you are looking for.  I felt that this was a great change from what I am used to and was able to read this book at a quicker pace.

The ending is wrapped up nicely but there is still room if she wanted to continue in this world.

All in all, if you want an easy/fun fantasy or you are looking to try out fantasy this is a good book to pick up.

My Rating: /54 Stars

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New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: The Raven and the Dove by Kaitlyn Davis

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen:  The Raven and the Dove by Kaitlyn Davis

The Raven and the Dove
The Raven and the Dove
by Kaitlyn Davis
(The Raven and the Dove #1)
Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling

Four fates collide in this avian-inspired, epic fantasy retelling of Tristan and Isolde perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, and Leigh Bardugo!

A princess longing to be free…

On the dawn of her courtship trials, Princess Lyana Aethionus knows she should be focused on winning her perfect mate, yet her thoughts wander to the open sky waiting at the edge of her floating kingdom. One final adventure calls. Upon fleeing the palace, the last thing she expects to find is a raven prince locked in a death match with a dragon.

A bastard aching to belong…

Reviled son of a dead king, Rafe would do anything for his beloved half-brother, Prince Lysander Taetanus, including posing as him in the upcoming courtship trials. When a dragon interrupts their secret exchange, he orders his studious sibling to run. After suffering a fatal blow, Rafe is saved by a beautiful dove who possesses forbidden magic, just like him.

Fate brought them together, now destiny will tear them apart…

Unknown to the world above, on the foggy sea ten thousand feet below, a young king fights a forgotten war. He believes Lyana is the queen prophesied to save the world, and with the help of his favored spy, hidden deep in the highest ranks of the dove royal house, he will stop at nothing to have her.

Three shocking betrayals. Two star-crossed lovers. One unforgettable journey. If you like fierce heroines, brooding heroes, forbidden romance, and action-packed magical adventures with twists you’ll never see coming, don’t miss The Raven and the Dove!

Expected publication:  March 9, 2020

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