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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Book Blitz: Kill or Cure by Pixie Britton @PixieBritton @RRBookTours1 #KillorCure #Freebie #FreebieAlert #YABooks #YAReads #IReadYA #Zombies

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I have great news YA fans! If you’re looking to add a thrilling series to your “social distancing” TBR, start with Kill or Cure by Pixie Britton, which is FREE for the rest of the month!!! Make sure to grab yourself a copy today!

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Kill or Cure
by Pixie Britton
Genre: YA Dystopian/ Romance/ Zombies
Publication Date: February 4, 2018

Kill or Cure is a YA romance-infused sci-fi novel.
It focuses on human relationships in an undead, apocalyptic world.
A girl who will stop at nothing to protect her brother.

In a dystopian world ravaged by infection, society as we know it has fallen to the mouths of the dead. The remaining fragments of civilisation survive in walled compounds, scattered in the depths of the countryside. When her little brother becomes sick with a suspected flu virus, Alyx Silverthorne will do anything to keep Tommy alive.

With limited medical supplies and only herbal alternatives, his prospects of surviving this mystery illness are bleak. But saving Tommy is just the beginning. The infected are not the only monsters that exist in this new world, and human nature can be more destructive than the dead.

In a race against time, Alyx and her best friend Will stop at nothing to protect him, even from the same people that swore to protect them all.

Kill or Cure is a dynamic, multifaceted story of teenage love and gut wrenching loss in a dystopian world.

“This novel takes an already done genre and carves its own unique mark through the zombie apocalypse.”

Readers Enjoy Authors Dreams

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Other Books in the Series

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Kill or Cure: Bloodlust
by Pixie Britton

He could save the world, or destroy it…

The virus that has swept the Earth hasn’t consumed Tommy, yet, but as his hunger for human flesh takes hold, his humanity vanishes behind the bloodlust of an infected. It’s up to seventeen year old Alyx and her friends to find answers. But saving her little brother isn’t their only problem. Lurking in the shadows of Alhena is the formidable General Sinter, hell-bent on capturing the boy with unrivalled superhuman strength for his own personal gains. With limited options, Alyx has no choice but to risk everything to protect him. A choice that she could live to regret

Kill or Cure Bloodlust is the second book in the Kill or Cure series. Brimming with suspense, romance and heart pumping action.

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Kill or Cure: Oblivion
by Pixie Britton

What price will she pay to save him?

With her little brother Tommy now ravaged with Infection and her best friend Will kidnapped and hidden far underground, Alyx’s world is on the edge of ruin.

General Sinter is stealing Will’s memories, searching for the secret to Tommy’s power. If Will continues to resist, he loses everything, including his love for Alyx.

Desperate and afraid, Alyx has no choice but to seek help from a man whom she betrayed, the ruthless gang leader Tyron. Can she convince him who the real enemy is? Or will his thirst for revenge be the end of Alyx and her friends?

The clock is ticking. The fate of humanity rests in her hands. Join Alyx and Will in the explosive finale of the Kill or Cure trilogy.

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Author Bio
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Pixie Britton is a British indie author and Wattpad extraordinaire. Her debut YA novel Kill or Cure, gained international success online with over 100k reads within five months of initial publication.

Shes lives in Essex, England with her husband and adorable furbaby. One day she dreams of leaving her job as a Treasury Analyst in the city, to become a full time author and creative entrepreneur.

Check out her website https://pixiebritton.com/ and sign up to her mailing list to receive the latest book release information.

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March 28th
B is for Book Review – https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com
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Cup of Books Blog – https://cupofbooksblog.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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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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Waiting On Wednesday: Hidden Knights by Jennifer Anne 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: Hidden Knights by Jennifer Anne Davis

Hidden Knights
Hidden Knights
by Jennifer Anne Davis
(Knights of the Realm #3)
Young Adult, Fantasy

The final installment in the Knights of the Realm saga is here.

With Prince Henrick dead, a foreign army in league with the king, and the palace taken, Reid must find a way to right the wrongs for the people of Marsden.

Reid never expected to find love, friendship, or her mother in the kingdom of Axian. She also never expected to become a leader for her people. With the king threatening to overthrow the dukes and take complete control of the kingdom, Reid realizes she may be the only one in a position to stop him. With the ring her father gave her, the commanders of the army at her side, and a master schemer in league with her, Reid just might be able to pull off the greatest upset in Marsden history—all she has to do in step into the role she was born for.

To protect her kingdom, Reid must outsmart them all. Luckily, she’s spent the last eighteen year learning the art of manipulation, and she isn’t above putting those skills to the test.

Expected publication: March 10, 2020

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Blog Tour: When Stars Are Bright by Amber R. Duell @AmberR_Duell @RRBookTours1 #WhenStarsAreBright #YABooks #YAReads #FairyTale #BlogTour #RRBookTours

WhenStarsareBright copy

I’m so excited to share this highly anticipated release with you all today!

When Stars Are Bright is a YA fairy tale retelling of “Thumbelina” by author, Amber R. Duell. Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a paperback copy of the book!

WhenStarsAreBright_Cover


When Stars Are Bright
by Amber R. Duell
Publication Date: January 7th, 2020
Genre: Young Adult/ Fairy Tale Retelling
Publisher: Crescent Sea Publishing

For Lina Holt, a Dutch seventeen-year-old with a flair for singing, 1930 is going to be her year. Her long-time boyfriend is about to propose and her mother will finally realize their relationship isn’t a passing phase. But when a stranger snatches her from her backyard, everything changes.

Lina is thrust into the spotlight of a New York vaudeville show where she’s paired with Nik, a mysterious pianist. The two bond during rehearsals and it doesn’t take long before Nik puts himself at risk to confess a hidden truth. Without Lina, the show is in its last season and there’s no way she’ll be allowed to slip through the owner’s fingers. Not when she carries fairy magic in her blood—an gift that turns her song into a dangerously addictive drug.

If Lina ever wants to return home, she must learn who to trust before she’s forced to remain a prisoner on stage forever.

WHEN STARS ARE BRIGHT is a historical Thumbelina retelling with a touch of magic.

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Excerpt

There’s a certain thrill in doing something forbidden. Sneaking out past curfew, dancing freely to a jazz band, stealing kisses in a dark corner. Any one of those things will send my mother into hysterics. I’m not sure what she’ll do if she finds out I’m doing them all at once. When she finds out, because she always does.

But, if I want to see Christian, it’s my only choice.

The band electrifies the air with each note they play. At least fifty strangers twist and turn around us in the empty barn, and the lingering scent of hay tickles my nose. Christian doesn’t seem to notice the lack of marble floors or fancy wall sconces. His eyes haven’t left my face since we got here, except for the kissing.

His arms cocoon me near the wall, and I lean into his chest. He’s warm and sturdy against me, and I close my eyes. The soft thump of his heartbeat beneath my palm dulls the sharp edge of missing him, but it never stops cutting. It won’t as long as we’re forced to sneak around behind our parents’ backs.

“Are you tired, Lina?” Christian twists one of my curls around his finger. “We can go.”

“We’ve only been here an hour.” And there’s no telling how long until we can meet again. I stretch up on my toes, the hem of my yellow skirt tickling the back of my knees, and kiss the fine stubble on his cheek. “Come on. I love this song.”

Pulling Christian behind me, I find a free spot in the middle of the barn. Dozens of worn, dusty boots and Mary Jane’s slam down on the planked floor, sending bits of straw and dirt into the air. The music vibrates against my body, and we join the rhythm.

The band wears worn slacks and checkered shirts like the rest of the crowd. Christian’s the only one here without patched clothes or any idea of the work that will go into filling this barn with hay tomorrow. No one will have the energy for dancing after a day of haying. They’ll be lucky to drag themselves to bed before collapsing, my mother and I included, though it will be a different field we work in the morning.

Sweat trickles down Christian’s temple as we kick up dust of our own, and a wide grin breaks out on my face. I’m not the best swing dancer, far from it, but I don’t care. Giving myself over to the music makes me feel weightless. Free. No one pays attention except Christian, and he’s not much better. When the trombone sounds its last note, I laugh and collapse into his arms, breathless.

“Want to get something to drink?” I ask over the start of the next song.

He nods and leads me back through the crowd. His cotton shirt clings to his skin, showing off the muscles in his arms and back, and gray suspenders hang down from his waist. After more than a year together, it’s the most I’ve seen of him, and it would be a lie to say I’m not enjoying it. If we didn’t have to sneak around, I’d make him go dancing every weekend for the view alone.

“Wait here.” He slips under a slanted support beam at the back of the barn, and kisses me. When he steps away, he keeps hold of my hand until he’s too far to reach. “I’ll be right back.”

I scoot farther under the protection of the beam until it grazes my hair, and watch his head bob above everyone else. A lantern burns beside me, casting a warm glow, and the band plays their own version of Puttin’ on the Ritz. There’s no singer tonight, without a microphone it would be impossible to hear one anyway, but I know the words. I hum along with the smooth sound of the saxophone, my foot tapping in time with the bass and, before I realize it, I’m singing.

It’s a cheery tune, but I keep my voice quiet. My mother is the only one who’s heard me sing since I was little, and she insists I keep it that way. Being known as the infant abandoned in a tulip field, I’m used to whispers behind my back. Going steady with the heir to the Van Buren petroleum fortune only makes things worse. I don’t mind being thought of as an unlovable gold digger—not much anyway—but I’m tired of standing out. I especially have no interest in drawing a crowd tonight like I did when I was five. Twelve years later, I still get chills thinking about the people that closed in on me as I hummed in the marketplace.

A heavy man inches along the wall, hunching over to fit beside me. His eyelids droop over dark eyes, and his round face is close enough that I can count the pockmarks. His breath wheezes over the music. “You have a lovely voice. Where did you get it?”

I slam my mouth shut on the last line of the song. Naturally, the one time I sing in public someone’s listening. Though it’s only one person, this is somehow equally unnerving.

“Have you thought about a career?” The strange man leans closer. From his dialect, it’s obvious he’s from a different part of Holland.

“A career?” I shift away, and scan the crowd for Christian. When I don’t see him between here and the water barrel, I step away from the wall.

The man bobs his head up and down, his jowls shaking, swallowing the yellow-stained Marlboro collar. “In show business. With that delicate face of yours, the blond hair and blue eyes, it would be easy to make a name for yourself. I’ve never felt an addictive quality as strong as yours either. Of course it’s rare. Where did you get it?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Keep your secrets, little Symric. Fairy folk always do.” He inches closer still. “But what do you say? You want to make it big in America with me?”

My laugh is quick and high-pitched. Where are you, Christian? “No.”

“You should.”

“She should what?” Christian asks from the opposite direction. He steps up beside me without refreshments and wraps an arm around my shoulders. I lean closer.

Review

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

I have never read anything by this author before and now I need to read more.

I am not very familiar with the original story of Thumbelina but I do enjoy a good retelling. And I have never heard of a Thumbelina retelling to date. Which was great since everyone seems to be down the same 2 or 3 stories over and over again.  

The first 130 pages seemed to take me longer to get through than the rest of the book.  Once I got to that point I finished the book in one sitting. I just couldn’t put it down.  I loved the magical aspect in a 1930s setting. Most of the books I have seen seem to be in the 20s so it was great to see a different decade. 

The ending was heartbreaking for me and that epilogue.  I didn’t realize until the end how much I wanted it to go another way for Lena,  but that is how the cookie crumbles. And their song….I will never be able to look at this title and not have some feels.

Available on Amazon

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Author Bio

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Amber R. Duell is an award-winning young adult author, Navy wife, and mom of 2 awesome boys. She has been a #WriteMentor mentor since 2018 and is a co-host on the live broadcast show Young Adult Edition. Red Bull keeps her kicking.

Amber Duell| Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

 

 

Blog Tour

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February 17th
Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com
Gwendalyn’s Books (Review) https://gwendalynbooks.blog/
Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/
Tales of Natural Spoonie (Review) https://talesofanaturalspoonie.com/

February 18th
Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com
C Vonzale Lewis (Review) https://cvonzalelewis.com/index.php/blog/
Life’s a Novelty (Review) https://lifesanovelty.blogspot.com/
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February 19th
I Love Books and Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com
Cup of Toast Blog (Review) https://cupoftoast.co.uk
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February 20th
Book Dragons Not Worms (Review) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1
Crossroad Reviews (Review) http://www.crossroadreviews.com
Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/
Port Jerricho (Review) http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com
The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

February 21st
Ghoulish Life & Reviews (Review) https://ghoulishspirit.wordpress.com/
Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com
Phantom of the Library (Review) https://phantomofthelibrary.com/
Vick’s Bookish Writing (Review) https://vicksblogcom.home.blog/
Sophril Reads (Review) https://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

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Waiting On Wednesday: Deadly Curious by Cindy Anstey

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:  Deadly Curious by Cindy Anstey

Deadly Curious
Deadly Curious
by Cindy Anstey
Young Adult, Historical

1834. Sophia Thompson wants nothing more than to be one of the famed Bow Street Runners, London’s most elite corps of detectives. Never mind that a woman has never before joined their ranks–and certainly never mind that her reclusive family has forbidden her from pursuing such an unladylike goal.

She gets the chance to prove her capabilities when an urgent letter arrives from her frantic cousin Daphne, begging Sophia to come look into the suspicious death of Daphne’s brother.

As Sophia begins to unravel the tangled threads of the case–with the help of a charming young policeman–she soon realizes that the murderer may be even closer to her family than she ever suspected.

Expected publication: April 14, 2020

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